The Cross and the Switchblade Test | Final Test - Hard

David Wilkerson
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Dave feel about what Nicky tells him?

2. What does Wilkerson see as the first step towards making an addict?

3. Why does Dave return to New York for one last trip?

4. What does Nicky say he remembers Dave first said to him?

5. What were Dave and his team looking for in a building?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 11 what is the author contemplating? What does he do to help him in his decision?

2. What does the author describe at the beginning of Chapter 14? When you read his description did it sound like a good idea to you?

3. What does Dave say about the baptism not always freeing an addict?

4. What does Dave describe as his first step in training the young people that would work with him? Do you think Dave had enough experience to be teaching them?

5. What does he tell a Catholic priest about Pentecost?

6. What does the author say about how Nicky's speech is received and what happens after it?

7. What do the recovering addicts at the center tell Dave when he asks why they are successful? What does Dave think about their answer?

8. What eventually happened to Maria?

9. What was the process Dave had to go through in order to have the Teen Challenge Center ready for Business?

10. What does Gwen point out that reminds the author of his vision in Chapter 12?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Most literature, whether fiction or non-fiction have themes. Discuss one of the following:

1. Define theme and give an example of it from your favorite book or movie and discuss it thoroughly.

2. Thoroughly discuss two of the themes you believe are present in the Cross and the Switchblade.

3. If you were writing a memoir of your life, what are two themes you think would evolve? Discuss them with examples illustrating the themes.

Essay Topic 2

In chapter 7, Wilkerson doubts the sincerity of the religious conversion of two of a gang's members. Discuss one of the following:

1. Why do you think Wilkerson doubts these conversions? Is he vindicated in his doubts? Or do they turn out to be sincere? How can one know if a conversion is sincere?

2. There is a concept in our culture called "jailhouse conversions;" in other words, men/women who are incarcerated or face incarceration finding religion and suddenly changing. There have been numerous high-profile examples of this situation. Research and discuss one of them. (Two to consider: Look up Karla Faye Tucker in Texas or Colson of the Watergate group.)

3. What is the process of conversion to Christianity? To some other religion or cause? Why do you think people "convert"? Discuss thoroughly.

Essay Topic 3

In memoir and autobiography, the author is recalling events pertinent to his/her own life. Discuss the following:

1. How accurate do you think memories are when an author is writing in the "present day" about events that may have occurred years earlier?

2. Do you think different people would have varying versions of the same event? Why or why not?

3. Autobiography is considered non-fiction because it is presumably "true." How much of autobiography is absolutely true if it is written from memory?

(see the answer keys)

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