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. What does Gunnar feel like in his neighborhood?

2. For what is Swen Kaufman known?

3. What type of families live in Gunnar's new neighborhood?

4. What kind of summer camp does Gunnar's mother want them to go to?

5. Why do two police officers come to Gunnar's house a couple of weeks after they move there?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Swen Kaufman's life story, according to Gunnar's mother?

2. With whom does Gunnar make friends during his first semester at his new school and what does he choose in his second semester schedule?

3. How does Gunnar feel about organized basketball and why? What changes for Nick and Gunnar because of basketball and how do they deal with the change?

4. Why did Rolf go to a white high school and what happens to him in Vietnam?

5. Why does Gunnar's mother suggest her children should go to a black school?

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

7. What is at the top of the hill from Gunnar's neighborhood?

8. What does Gunnar's mother tell her children about their ancestor Euripides?

9. How does Nick help Gunnar fit into the neighborhood better and how does Gunnar get a basketball?

10. Where does Gunnar go to avoid beatings, what does he do there and how does he still get beat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The the reader can see the basis for the mother's fears that her children have lost touch with their own heritage. It is possible that the children's elementary school with all of its misguided stress on multiculturalism has helped to separate the children from understanding their true heritage.

1. Do you think Gunnar's mother's fears are unfounded? Why or why not? Use examples from The White Boy Shuffle and your own life to support your answer.

2. Discuss the ways in which such an emphasis on multiculturalism could confuse a child about his or her own heritage. Use examples from The White Boy Shuffle and your own life to support your answer.

3. Do you think it was illogical for Gunnar's mother to move her children to a lower class and potentially more violent neighborhood just so they could be around people of their own race? Why or why not? Use examples from The White Boy Shuffle and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by The White Boy Shuffle. Questions that Beatty most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Beatty's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Beatty's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Paul Beatty and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,314 words
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