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To Pay It Forward Journal Questions
Terms in this set (36)
In the beginning of the book Reuben is describing himself and the way that people around him react to him. Can you think of any connections of what Reuben is going through to any movie or book that you might have seen or heard about?
In the book and movie Wonder the main character is made fun of and has to learn how to incorporate himself into society. Just like Reuben he has a different looking face, and this is the source of all their similar problems.
Trevor writes about a story he heard on the news about a "little kid over in England who has this, like...condition. Nothing hurts him... Sometimes I think my mom has that condition, too. Only on the inside...Except, I know she hurts. But she still has her hand on that hot stove." Describe what you think Trevor is saying in this diary entry. Give examples from Arlene's life that support Trevor's hypothesis. How does his mom illustrate this "condition" of building walls to protect herself from pain? How effective is her wall?
She's had relationships with lots of different men, and none of them are working out. She has two jobs. Both of which are very hard. Her idea of building a wall is illustrated as a barrier between her heart and the outside world. It was an effort to keep her emotions protected. It wasn't very effective because when you shield yourself from the outside world it means you never let anyone in.
In this section we truly learn from Jerry what "pay it forward" means. Below create a drawing, which you can do by clicking insert, drawing, and using premade shapes. Explain in your own words below or quote from Jerry as to how it works.
When one person pays it forward the number of people it affects grows exponentially after the first person.
Do you think it was a waste of Trevor's time to try to help Jerry? Why or why not? Do you think Jerry will "pay it forward?" What is the reason Jerry ends up where he started?
It wasn't a waste of trevors time. I don't think Jerry is going to let Trevor down in the long run. My hypothesis is that later on in the book Jerry is going to be given a second chance and he'll think of the kindness that Trevor showed him.
Arlene comes into Mr. St. Claire's room angry and ready to go. What two things stop her in her tracks? Why does this happen? Have you ever caught yourself or someone else doing something similar in a situation? If you were her, would you have had a similar or different reaction?
She stops because he's black and has a weird face. I feel the same way that she does about when you're around people of other races. I get so focused on showing that I'm not racist that it might seem I am. If I were her I would have a similar-ish reaction because I hope I wouldn't have come to him in the first place, and I wouldn't have gotten mad at him.
At one point when Arlene and Mr. St. Claire are talking she says she feels like an idiot. Do you feel like Mr. St. Claire handled this conversation well?
I don't think she handled it very well because she got mad at him, and she really should have never been there in the first place. I think she should have though to go to Trevor first.
How do you feel about Arlene's comment to Jerry when the comet goes by? She says she hates it, and Jerry says that he likes it. "When you get that feeling like we're all just the same?"
I like the idea that all humans are linked by some common ideas. I don't think we're all exactly the same, but I also find comfort in the idea that everyone is at least similar or not completely different from me.
One of the things that Trevor is adamant about is that his project is not like random acts of kindness. How does he say it is different?
Random acts of kindness just happen and then are over. His hope is that his project will cause a chain reaction and change the world. Plus paying it forward is more of a commitment.
Why do you think Arlene reacted the way she did to Trevor saying that Ricky wasn't coming back?
She still wants to believe that he may come back, and anything that would possibly mean her and Reuben get married makes her extremely uncomfortable.
Why does Arlene think Jerry won't come out to see Trevor?
Because he can't face them after letting them down. Not because he wasn't in the mood.
How do you feel about what Mr. St. Clair says to Trevor when he is sad about his project not working and Mrs. Greenberg dyeing? He says, "I know you did. It's a tough assignment. That's part of its lesson, I'm afraid. We all want to change the world, and sometimes we need to learn that it's harder than we think."
He was right, but I feel as though he should have given him more hope. More specifically I wish he had told him to try and find more help, or offered his own.
Share the reasons that Reuben states as to how him and Arlene are the same.
-They both think the other is looking down on them
-They both have an outer confidence
Why do you think Mr. St. Clair says, "It changed him, this simple observation, like being jostled off the edge of a tall building, causing him to wonder if it was too late to get his old isolation back." pg. 91
To put emphasis on this realization. He missed being alone now because being with other people is scaring him.
How did Reuben and Lou connect to each other?
They were best friends. They were both lonely. Both are tired of being alone, and Reuben feels this way because his face is deformed and lou feels this way because he can't find other gay people.
Arlene and Reuben are becoming more than friends. What do we learn about Arlene's normal dating experience based on how nice Reuben treats her?
That she's not use to going out with gentlemen, and she's used to getting whatever she wants when it comes to this stuff. Since Reuben doesn't give her everything she wants it makes her like him morel.
Mr. St. Clair chose Trevor's project to get the extra credit in his class. Why did he choose his over the others?
I do think it was a little bit because he saw all the work Trevor put in, but the real reason was because he didn't so it for the credit and all the other project weren't as good.
How does Charlotte tie into the plot line?
Charlotte ties in because she is the first "second level" of his project, and I think Trevor will find out of hear about her which will give him more motivation to work for his project because he saved someone's life.
A metaphor is used by Arlene on page 166. What is it, and what does it mean?
"It wasn't as easy at it looked in the directions" Mean something isn't as easy it it seems or should be.
Arlene and Trevor both handle a return of someone that they would rather stay lost. How do they handle this new twist in their lives?
All that happens with Ricky so far is he asks Reuben who the hell he is. Arlene and Trevor are both concerned for Reuben, and ran top their rooms.
What is Trevor's advice as to how to Pay it Forward?
You don't come up with things to do for people you just look around and you'll see something someone needs. "You just look around until you see somebody who needs something"
Describe Gordie and the situation that Gordie is going through.
Gordie is a guy, but online he pretends to be a girl in an effort to meet another guy who might like him. His father is extremely disapproving of this behavior, and punishes him by abusing him. Gordie isn't pretty and is extremely angry at his life. Nothing is going right for him and he doesn't know who he is, but more importantly he doesn't think anyone will accept him for who he thinks he is.
What do you think about the people who just walk around Gordie while the men are attacking?
They're scared about the same happening to them, and they too are probably disapproving of Gordie.
What happens with the gangs in New York?
The death rate goes down 80%
Who takes the credit for "Paying it forward?"
On page 204 Trevor is similar to Gordie. How do those two connect?
They both don't like their father
Who does Chris get answers from as to what is pay it forward?
Matt, Sidney G, Stella, and Michael.
What two people direct Chris to Atascadero?
Matt & Stella
How do you think the story is going to turn out? Why?
I think he'll find Trevor and give him credit for his idea. I think this will happen because of how the rest of the book has played out.
Was Mrs. Greenberg right about her ideas as to what her son would have done with the money?
Yes. She was right in think he would waste it on food.
Trevor points out a way that Reuben can pay it forward. What is it?
To give Arlene a second chance.
Arlene becomes frustrated with life and Ricky. What does Arlene do to take out her frustration and to solve her problem with Ricky?
She hits the truck with a metal bat, and making Rickey give her the GTO in exchange for his shotgun.
How did Reuben get his face scared?
He tried to save his friend from a grenade
Trevor gets more than his 15 minutes of fame because he gets to go where and meet who?
He meets Bill Clinton & goes to the White House
What happens between Arlene and Reuben at the Vietnam Memorial?
They make up and get engaged.
We finally learn the connection of Gordie to Trevor. What is it?
They were both in DC & Trevor tried to save Gordie.
The president uses the light switch as a symbol. Explain what he meant.
It was suppose to show how Trevor light up the lives of other people, and the world. Trevor was the catalyst of the movement and the reason people started changing. While the movement didn't die with him it wouldn't be the same.
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