CommonLit is one of the best websites where you can read a lot of things, including short stories. It is known as the best website for the children or students to improve their study. There are a ton of short stories on this website. One of them is titled The War of the Wall. What is The War of the Wall?
The War of the Wall is counted as a short story. This one was written by an African American author, filmmaker, and social activist named Toni Cade Bambara. The set of the story is the Vietnam War. At the time, a lot of American soldiers were sent to fight overseas. The story follows a woman who paints a wall that belongs to the children of the neighborhood. It is about the experiences of two children as a street artist paints on their beloved wall in their neighborhood.
After reading The War of the Wall by Toni Cade Bambara at CommonLit, there you will be able to see some guiding questions on the right side of the page. Below is the list of all the questions and the answer keys:
- In paragraph 1, why did the narrator and Lou chisel Jimmy Lyons’ name into the wall?
a. He died in a gang fight.
b. He died fighting in Vietnam.
c. He drowned taking the boys fishing.
d. He ran away from the neighborhood.
Answer: B. He died fighting in Vietnam
- Why doesn’t the narrator want the woman to paint the wall?
a. She’s not a good artist.
b. There’s a mural already painted on it.
c. The kids were planning on painting it.
d. The wall is being used by the neighborhood kids.
Answer: D. The wall is being used by the neighborhood kids.
- Which of the following describes the painter?
a. She is hungry for dinner.
b. She is focused on her work.
c. She is distracted by the kids
d. She is ignoring the kids to be rude.
Answer: B. She is focused on her work.
- Which of the following is one reason the narrator thinks the painter is rude?
a. She doesn’t accept the plate of food the twins bring.
b. She refuses to talk to anyone from the neighborhood.
c. She didn’t get permission first to paint the mural on the wall.
d. She was rude to Side Pocket when he was only trying to be nice.
Answer: A. She doesn’t accept the plate of food the twins bring.
- The painter lady…
a. has a lot of allergies.
b. doesn’t like Southern food.
c. is picky about what she eats.
d. insults what Mama has to eat.
Answer: C. is picky about what she eats.
- Which of the following describes Mama’s feeling towards the painter lady?
a. She is upset by the painter lady’s questions and doesn’t answer them honestly.
b. She is offended by the painter lady’s questions and refuses to answer them.
c. She understands why the painter lady is asking questions and happily answers them.
d. She is initially irritated by the painter lady’s questions but is later apologetic toward her.
Answer: D. She is initially irritated by the painter lady’s questions but is later apologetic toward her.
- Why do the narrator and Lou buy a can of white epoxy paint?
a. They plan to graffiti the trains
b. They want it for a school project.
c. They want to paint their own mural.
d. They plan to graffiti the wall to take it back.
Answer: D. They plan to graffiti the wall to take it back.
- The woman painted…
a. celebrities and artists.
b. abstracts art and shapes.
c. activists and people from the community
d. her family and friends from where she lived up North.
Answer: C. activists and people from the community.
- Why is the inscription important to the people of Taliaferro Street?
a. Jimmy Lyons was a civil rights activist.
b. Jimmy Lyons was the narrator’s cousin.
c. Jimmy Lyons was part of their community.
d. Jimmy Lyons was known to play on the wall.
Answer: C. Jimmy Lyons was part of their community.
Aside from that, there are also a couple of questions in the Discussions section, as follows:
- How did the painter both honor Jimmy Lyons specifically and the children of the neighborhood?
- For most of the story, the narrator is in a conflict with the painter lady. Do you think the painter lady was aware of or even bothered by these interactions?
For these two questions, the answers will vary. Feel free to answer anything that you think is correct.
In addition to all these questions, there are also some questions related to The War of the Wall. These questions are found in Faspe Info and are related to CommonLit, even though they are nowhere to be found on CommonLit. All these questions are as follows:
- Which statement expresses the theme of the story?
Answer: Adults have a hard time understanding what kids find important.
- How does the author establish the painter lady as an outsider?
Answer: The author emphasizes that the painter lady is from out of town and acts differently than people in the community.
- What is the narrator’s reaction to Mama’s perspective on the painter lady?
Answer: The narrator understands why the painter lady is painting their wall.
- What causes the conflict between the narrator and the painter lady?
Answer: her desire to paint the wall that the neighborhood kids like to use
- How does seeing the inscription on the wall affect the narrator?
Answer: The narrator realizes that they and the painter share a mutual dislike of Jimmy Lyons.
- How does seeing the painter lady’s mural affect the narrator?
Answer: The narrator argues with Lou about what they see on the wall.
- How is the conflict in the story resolved?
Answer: The mural is finished and revealed.
- How do the kids’ feelings about the painter lady using their wall change throughout the passage?
Answer: The War of the Wall by Toni Cade Bambara tells the story of a pair of boys who feel deeply offended by a woman who dares to paint graffiti on their wall as they felt it was the property of the boys in the block, and how they went from planning how to destroy it to finally see it in detail and discover that it, in fact, tell the story of the neighborhood and honors the ones that are no longer there.