The White Boy Shuffle Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Paul Beatty
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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. Who does Gunnar tell the police his Gang of Four plan to fight in a week?

2. How did Swen leave home?

3. What position does Compton have in the Civil War?

4. What happens after more children arrive at the swings?

5. What have the Gun Totin' Hooligans decided to do to honor Pumpkin?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the Gun Totin' Hooligans decide to avenge Pumpkin and why is Gunnar involved? How does their plan work out?

2. What does Nick do to handle some of the attention directed at him and how does that affect Gunnar?

3. With whom has Gunnar become friends in the three years in his new neighborhood and why can he walk unafraid there? What is one of the disadvantages of one of his friends?

4. What does Wolfgang Kaufman do in Nashville and why does he move to Chicago? What does he do in Chicago?

5. Why is the receptionist at the school surprised to see Gunnar and what does she tell him about his aptitude testing?

6. With what coach does Gunnar develop a relationship and how did the coach learn to play his sport?

7. How do Gunnar and his sisters get along with the other children in the neighborhood?

8. What does Gunnar recall about living in Santa Monica in Chapter 2 and why does he join the Cub Scouts? How does the Scouts work out for him?

9. What do police officers in Gunnar's new neighborhood ask him and what is his response?

10. What does Gunnar's elementary school emphasize?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think The White Boy Shuffle is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

Gunnar is momentarily angered that Nick and the man are talking about Gunnar's poetry, but thinking of his poetry at a time when he is so upset makes Gunnar realize that his poetry serves the same function as Psycho Loco's violence. Gunnar uses poetry to help him cope with external events, and Psycho Loco uses violence for the same reason.

1. How do you think poetry helps Gunnar cope with external events? Use examples from The White Boy Shuffle and your own life to support your answer.

2. How do you think violence helps Psycho Loco cope with external events? Use examples from The White Boy Shuffle and your own life to support your answer.

3. Discuss how two such different activities as writing poetry and committing violence could serve the same function. Use examples from The White Boy Shuffle and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in The White Boy Shuffle. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Beatty chooses the symbols he does? Do you think Beatty consciously decides upon the symbols to represent various elements of The White Boy Shuffle? Why or why not.

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in The White Boy Shuffle. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Beatty chooses the metaphors he does?

3. Discuss Beatty's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, clifthangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Beatty use too many or too little literary techniques? State to which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,354 words
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