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 have the Straumli inadvertently created?

2. With what does the narrator say the humans are playing?

3. What does one poster on the net think think the Blight needs?

4. Why can Ja not reveal Scriber's murderer?

5. From what is Pham recovering?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Jefri doing during Woodcarver's army's attack?

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

3. What are the Olsndots' priorities after landing?

4. Why is the trip to rescue Jefri going to take longer and what does Ravna do to help Jefri because of the longer time?

5. How does Pham occupy his time while the OOB draws closer to the planet where Jefri awaits?

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

7. Explain what the material in OOB's library says about the origins of Riders.

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

9. How is Johanna faring in the Woodcarver's domain?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast Johanna Olnsdot to her brother, Jefri. How are they alike? How are they different? Do you think their differences are mainly due to their age differences? Compare how each initially react to the sentient beings of the planet where they land.

2. Compare/contrast Queen Woodcarver to Lord Steel. How are they alike? How are they different? How do their "world views" differ? Who is the better leader/ruler? Under which one would you rather live?

3. Compare/contrast Ravna to Pham. How are they alike? How are they different? Who is more likeable? Approachable? Compassionate? Intellectual?

4. Compare/contrast Greenstalk to Blueshell. How are they alike? How are they different? Are they more alike than they are different? Why or why not? Are either or both trustworthy? Are they likeable? How do they differ from other sentient beings introduced in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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