Study Guide for Ironman by Chris Crutcher by HC121014072012

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									           Study Guide for Ironman by Chris Crutcher

Chapter One

  1. Who is the narrator writing to? What does the narrator like about
     him?
  Larry King. That he listens

  2. Why do you think he is writing to him, a person he doesn’t even
     know?
  Answers may vary.

  3. Who is Keith Redmond? What is their “history”?

He is the narrator’s English teacher and head football coach at Clark
Fork High. The teacher doesn’t like him because he walked out of
football practice on the second day because the teacher used public
humiliation as a motivator. The coach asked him to declare his gender.

  4. What is Beauregard Brewster like? What do we learn about him
     through his own words?

He has a hot temper and does not take criticism well. He says he can’t
contain the monster within him.

  5. What must Bo do in order to come back to Redmond’s class?
     What will happen if he doesn’t? What do you think he should do?

Bo must take an anger management class. If he doesn’t he must be
tutored at home for 2 hours by Conroy. Answers will vary for the last
question.

Chapter Two

  6. What is an Ironman? What skills does it require? What do Bo’s
     workouts say about his character?

An Ironman swims about two and half miles and runs a marathon. It
takes strength, endurance, and stamina. He works hard and pushes to
the limit.

  7. Describe Jordan using details from the novel. What does Bo think
     of him?
Jordan is his brother. “This is a kid who would have been better off
raised by wolves, and he must know what, because he acts like he
was. He’s a teeny kid, with blond hair that looks like each follicle was
installed separately and at a slightly different angle than the rest. He
doesn’t look at all like him. He is full of energy never sitting still. He is
always in trouble at school.

   8. What do we learn about Bo’s parents? What is their relationship
      like?

They were having troubles so they had Jordan. The father left when
Jordan was born. The mother was going to support groups for his
controlling behavior. It seems that the mother and father are happy to
get rid of each other. He says that their house wasn’t big enough for
him and his father.


   9. What decision must Bo make in order to return to school? What
      are his options, benefits, and cons to the situation?

He can go to the Nak Pack or get tutored by boring and strict Mrs.
Conroy. He doesn’t want to join a group of criminals but he doesn’t
want to be out of school.

Chapter Three

   10.     Describe Bo’s dream that he has constantly. What is
      behind it? How does it explain his anger?

He dreams he is waking his father up, you never wake his father up
during noon naps. He tries to close a door slowly and it only makes a
loud noise. When he was younger he ran into the house shrieking from
his sister getting him with the hose. The father screamed at him and
told him to shut the door quietly 10 times, he did until the tenth one
and he slammed it so hard the glass cracked in the door. It was the
start of his anger. It was the first time he really felt humiliated. He
didn’t “exist” for seven months. His father forbade anyone to speak to
him. Bo wouldn’t apologize and he didn’t get any Christmas gifts. His
mother pleaded with Bo to apologize and he said his father could go to
hell. She slapped him and he said she could go to hell too. On Easter,
the father told him he could rejoin the family.

   11.       Describe Mr. Nak.
He is a Japanese guy who his from Texas. He talks like Slim Pickens
and dresses like the Marlboro man. He is about 135 lbs. about 5’5”. He
is a guy that can look inside you and it scares Bo.


  12.      What is the lesson with the skunk? What will this teach
     Joey?

The skunk hasn’t sprayed in Joey’s home because it hasn’t been riled
up. Joey is always riling up his teachers. Nak wants him to leave the
skunk alone as an assignment. Answers may vary.

Chapter Four


  13.      How does Mr. Nak explain their anger and low self
     esteem?

He says that they learned different from others how to handle a
situation. They are deemed wrong. Also, people tell them how they
should feel and talk them out of their true feelings.

  14.      As “loony” as Hudge appears to be, how do the other boys
     in the anger management group connect to him?

Hudge starts to break down and cry. Mr. Nak was able to connect with
him and it is something that the other boys are afraid to do.

Chapter Five

  15.       Who is Koch?
Koch is a butterfly swimmer.

   16.     What is the conflict between Bo and Wyrack?
Wyrack wants Bo to slow down so the coach won’t give him trouble for
a high school kid beating him. Wyrack slaps Bo.

    17.      How does Bo respond to Wyrack’s ultimatum? What event
       in Bo’s life is this similar to?
 Bo does his best and beats Wyrack every time. It is like his father
telling him to do something and he refuses. It shows a lot about Bo’s
character.
   18.      What does Bo do when confronted about the mark on his
      face? What does this show about his character?

Bo lies and says it is not Wyrack. He isn’t a tattle tale and he thinks he
can handle things himself.

   19.      What does he respect about his father? Why does he
      disrespect him?

He respects his father because he teaches him things and never told
him the answer or took the tools away when I screwed up. He has
patience when letting him learn things. He disrespects the way the
father has to humiliate him, the personal stuff.

   20.       What does Bo do that shows his sensitive and caring
      nature? How does his father react? What does this show about
      his father’s nature?

Bo gives the 100 dollars he earned from his father to a hobo. The
father says that he needs to earn another 100 dollars to put in the
bank. His son did a selfless thing for another person and the father is
punishing him for it. It shows he doesn’t value human life or anyone
but himself. He said that he has to learn to be responsible and it is a
lesson in the value of the dollar (not the value of human life).

Chapter Six

   21.      How does Shelly put Wyrack in his place? What is Bo’s
      opinion?

When Wyrack goes to punch Bo, she knocks him to the ground and
grinds his wrist in the pavement until he apologizes. He likes this, he
finds her exciting and is not embarrassed at all.

Chapter Seven

   22.        How does Christmas go sour between Luke and Bo?

Luke says that Bo’s coach Lion is a homosexual. They fight over it and
Luke tells him to leave.

   23.        What does Elvis reveal in Mr. Nak’s group?
His father led his mother to kill himself. His sister sent the father the
bullet for Christmas and said she was going to tell the authorities
about what “he done to her.”

Chapter Eight

   24.      What attracted Shelly to Bo? Explain her story.

Shelly tried out for the Varsity Basketball team and Redmond cut her.
He stood against him and he turns her on.

Chapter Nine

   25.      How do Mr. S and Bo have in common? Describe Mr. S’s
      experience? What might this foreshadow in the novel?

They both have controlling fathers. Mr. S. said that he has a similar
relationship with his father, the family died when he was 14. He wishes
though that he could see his father one more time to learn from him.
He told Bo he has to take the good with the bad. It might foreshadow
a reconnect between Bo and his father. That his father may not be all
bad.

   26.    What disappoints Bo the most about finding out Mr. S is a
      homosexual?

He just wants him to be normal. He needs something normal in his
life. It seems like nothing in his life is normal.

Chapter Ten


   27.      Why does Wryack call Bo weak?

He quits at everything and lets his girlfriend do all of the work.

   28.       What did Shelly do that shows her trust in Bo and his
      abilities?

She bet them 500 bucks that Bo would win.

   29.     What does Mr. Nak say is the root of their anger? Do you
      agree?
It is when we are scared or afraid we cover it up with anger. Answers
may vary.

Chapter Eleven

  30.      What does Bo’s mother reveal about her relationship with
     Luke? Why did she end it? Why does she feel shame for her
     actions?

She said she was weak and attributed his behavior to masculinity. She
said that she felt shame for allowing Luke to control her and the
children so much. She should have stopped it in the beginning or left
before they were married with children.

  31.     What tragedy happens to Hudge? What does Mr. Nak mean
     when he tells the group they need to “huddle up on him”?

Hudge didn’t feed his dog so the father shot the dog. Hudge went out
of control and he had to be taken to a psych ward. Mr. Nak was the
only person that could get Hudge to cooperate. Mr. Nak tells the group
they need to “huddle up on him” and protect him.


Chapter Twelve

  32.       What does Elvis mean when he tells Bo that his “daddy”
     isn’t his friend? Why would his father do such a thing? What does
     this show us about his father’s true feelings?

His father gave a 5000 dollar bike to the enemy. He gave it to the
boys he is up against. He wants those boys to teach him a lesson. The
father is out to break Bo. Answers may vary.


Chapter Thirteen

  33.     What has “angered” Redmond into reprimanding Bo? Why
     do you think Redmond is making such a fuss? Why does Mr. Nak
     say Bo is scared?

Redmond tells Bo he doesn’t have to take the Anger Management
Classes three times. He says that Bo not quitting is “having an
attitude.” Redmond just wants control over Bo, and wants to take him
out of his comfort zone. Redmond “feels good when I feel bad”
Answers may vary. He is not really afraid of Redmond, only the feeling
he has about his father that he sees in Redmond.

Chapter Fourteen

   34.      What “project” does Shuja suggest for the group? What
      does this request show about the Nak Pack?

Shuja says the Bo has the chance to defeat the enemy. And if one of
the enemies can be defeated, it would help the whole group manage
their anger. It shows that they are a family unit. They care more about
each other than their real families do.

   35.      What do we learn about Mr. Nak’s past?

He was drunk driving and killed his children. He is trying to teach
others to learn the importance of what they have before it is too late.

Chapter Fifteen

   36.      Where does Bo stay before the Yukon Jack’s? Why does he
      want to be alone? What is he finding out about himself and his
      future?

He stays where his father used to take him fishing when he used to be
a dad. He yearns for that time again. He wants to be alone with his
challenge and get serious. He is eager for his future and to become a
man.

   37.      What does Lonnie do that surprises Bo at the beginning of
      the race? What is the true reason Lonnie does this?

He hands the ultra-lite bike to Bo to use for the race. He said he would
never want anyone stepping between his father and him for a deal. He
has a good relationship with his father. He doesn’t like what is going
on.

Chapter Sixteen

   38.      How does the motivation for Bo build from the beginning of
      the tape to the end? Has it been a good motivation? Give details
      from the text.
Bo gets words from his Anger Management friends, his swim coach
and Mr. Nak. Larry King is on there because Shelly gave him the
letters Bo had been writing. When he thinks his body is giving in, he
gets a second win and says he is going to beat Wyrack and get 500
dollars.

Epilogue

   39.       What did Bo want from his father on graduation? How did
      it turn out?

Bo wanted to go into counseling with his father. At first the father said
no way but then he handed Bo and appointment card on the night of
his graduation. He is like his father and it scares him. His father leaves
a session and says it is too hard. He hasn’t seen him since.

   40.      What is the “medicine for our anger, medicine for our hurt,
      and medicine for our desperation”? What does it allow us, but
      not “excuse us”?

Mercy. It allows for all things, but it doesn’t excuse the behavior.
Ironman
Chapter One

   1. Who is the narrator writing to? What does the narrator like about him?

   2. Why do you think he is writing to him, a person he doesn’t even know?

   3. Who is Keith Redmond? What is their “history”?


   4. What is Beauregard Brewster like? What do we learn about him through his own
      words?


   5. What must Bo do in order to come back to Redmond’s class? What will happen if
      he doesn’t? What do you think he should do?


Chapter Two

   6. What is an Ironman? What skills does it require? What do Bo’s workouts say
      about his character?


   7. Describe Jordan using details from the novel. What does Bo think of him?

   8. What do we learn about Bo’s parents? What is their relationship like?


   9. What decision must Bo make in order to return to school? What are his options,
      benefits, and cons to the situation?


Chapter Three

   10. Describe Bo’s dream that he has constantly. What is behind it? How does it
       explain his anger?


   11. Describe Mr. Nak.

   12. What is the lesson with the skunk? What will this teach Joey?
Chapter Four

   13. How does Mr. Nak explain their anger and low self esteem?


   14. As “loony” as Hudge appears to be, how do the other boys in the anger
       management group connect to him?


Chapter Five

   15. Who is Koch?

   16. What is the conflict between Bo and Wyrack?

   17. How does Bo respond to Wyrack’s ultimatum? What event in Bo’s life is this
       similar to?


   18. What does Bo do when confronted about the mark on his face? What does this
       show about his character?


   19. What does he respect about his father? Why does he disrespect him?


   20. What does Bo do that shows his sensitive and caring nature? How does his father
       react? What does this show about his father’s nature?

Chapter Six

   21. How does Shelly put Wyrack in his place? What is Bo’s opinion?


Chapter Seven

   22. How does Christmas go sour between Luke and Bo?


   23. What does Elvis reveal in Mr. Nak’s group?


Chapter Eight

   24. What attracted Shelly to Bo? Explain her story.
Chapter Nine

   25. How do Mr. S and Bo have in common? Describe Mr. S’s experience? What
       might this foreshadow in the novel?


   26. What disappoints Bo the most about finding out Mr. S is a homosexual?


Chapter Ten

   27. Why does Wryack call Bo weak?


   28. What did Shelly do that shows her trust in Bo and his abilities?


   29. What does Mr. Nak say is the root of their anger? Do you agree?


Chapter Eleven

   30. What does Bo’s mother reveal about her relationship with Luke? Why did she end
       it?


   31. What tragedy happens to Hudge? What does Mr. Nak mean when he tells the
       group they need to “huddle up on him”?

Chapter Twelve

   32. What does Elvis mean when he tells Bo that his “daddy” isn’t his friend? Why
       would his father do such a thing? What does this show us about his father’s true
       feelings?

Chapter Thirteen

   33. What has “angered” Redmond into reprimanding Bo? Why do you think
       Redmond is making such a fuss? Why does Mr. Nak say Bo is scared?


Chapter Fourteen

   34. What “project” does Shuja suggest for the group? What does this request show
       about the Nak Pack?
   35. What do we learn about Mr. Nak’s past?


Chapter Fifteen

   36. Where does Bo stay before the Yukon Jack’s? Why does he want to be alone?
       What is he finding out about himself and his future?


   37. What does Lonnie do that surprises Bo at the beginning of the race? What is the
       true reason Lonnie does this?


Chapter Sixteen

   38. How does the motivation for Bo build from the beginning of the tape to the end?
       Has it been a good motivation? Give details from the text.


Epilogue

   39. What did Bo want from his father on graduation? How did it turn out?


   40. What is the “medicine for our anger, medicine for our hurt, and medicine for our
       desperation”? What does it allow us, but not “excuse us”?

								
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