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. What is built faster than anything on Straum?

2. What happens to Pham after the Old One's death?

3. Who particularly wants to be friends with Johanna?

4. What jumps successfully?

5. What do the wolf-like figures do?

Short Essay Questions

1. About what does Twirlip of the Mists wonder and what is the Alliance for the Defense's response?

2. How do Peregrine and Scriber describe the humans?

3. Where are the scientists from and what are they doing?

4. Describe Pham.

5. How do packs communicate and how is this related to the fact they believe Johanna is dead when she faints?

6. Why is Scriber depressed?

7. What does Ravna learn when she visits Greenstalk and Blueshell in their quarters?

8. Why does Pham distrust Steel?

9. How are Peregrine and Scriber received in the Woodcarver's Domain and what happens to Johanna when she arrives with them?

10. What are the Olsndots' priorities after landing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a book is more of a character-driven plot rather than action-driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character-driven or action-driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character-driven versus action-driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not?

5. What type of plot do you think A Fire Upon the Deep is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of manipulation and power in A Fire Upon the Deep. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with manipulation and power? Why? What are some symbols of manipulation and power? Symbols of powerlessness? What characters seem powerless?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of genocide in A Fire Upon the Deep. Which characters seem to accept that genocide is sometimes necessary? Why? Which characters seem opposed to genocide no matter what? Why? Which ones seem not to care one way or the other?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death. Death happens on a scale that is almost incomprehensible with billions of sentient beings being wiped out of existence. Does this inure a reader to the impact of death? When death is brought to a more individual level, such as in the world where the Olnsdots land, does it have a greater impact? How do the Tines' civilization seem to view death? What is different about the death of some of the Tine's packs? Do you think the way the Tines live in packs makes death easier or more difficult to bear?

Essay Topic 3

Whenever reading a science fiction or fantasy novel, one must become familiar with new terminology that explains concepts or technology that is not a part of the "real" world. In the case of A Fire upon the Deep, there is a great deal of new terminology and familiar words with new meanings. Discuss the following:

1. Find five terms that are a part of the world of A Fire upon the Deep that are a part of the language of 2010 but mean something different. Define the words as used in A Fire upon the Deep and compare those five words as to how they are currently used in the American English language.

2. How does the language of A Fire upon the Deep from that of 2010? Are there words you did not know from that time? What? How do you learn their meanings? What does it mean to grasp a the meaning of a word through its context? Can you do that in A Fire upon the Deep? Give an example of several words whose definition are made clear through the context of how the word is used.

3. There are ways of learning about a new world or time when reading a science fiction or fantasy novel. Discuss the ways you were able to understand the world of A Fire upon the Deep through its vocabulary. Did you have to look up any words?

4. Were there any words you never really understood from A Fire upon the Deep? Which ones?

(see the answer keys)

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