A Fire upon the Deep Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. How long does the narrator figure the archive has been lost to the net?

2. Where does Johanna sail?

3. Who particularly wants to be friends with Johanna?

4. Who is blamed for the Blight?

5. What does Steel want to use against the Woodcarvers?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the beings that attack the Olsndots.

2. How does Greenstalk create havoc with Pham's trust of the two Riders?

3. What does Pham learn while the OOB is headed for repairs and how does Ravna react?

4. What does Steel plan to use the alien ship for and what does Tyrathect hope to do about this?

5. Describe Lord Steel.

6. In what condition is the ship in which the Olsndot family escapes Earth by the time it reaches an unnamed and habitable world?

7. What is happening on the OOB as it enters the Middle of the Beyond?

8. Why is Scriber depressed?

9. Describe Pham and Bluestalk's descent to the planet surface and their attack and why they suddenly stop attacking with their beam?

10. Describe Scriber's assassination.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Johanna has been quite hostile at the beginning of her captivity, so the Queen orders her lodged next to her, where she can treat her wound and befriend her as a first step to studying her. Discuss the following:

1. How is the above situation with what the Queen does similar to the saying, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

2. Do you think the Queen's friendship and kindnesses produce positive results with Johanna? Why or why not?

3. Do you think in the "real" world befriending prisoners of war would actually be more useful than treating them cruelly? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of A Fire upon the Deep, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur such as exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement. Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements. Subplots may not contain every element of a major plot. Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not? Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of interesting questions raised by this book. Questions that most likely Vinge wanted the readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the author's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Vinge'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?

(see the answer keys)

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