A Fire upon the Deep Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. For what does Jefri send?

2. How does Steel view Amdijefri?

3. What does Pham want to be able to describe?

4. What is Steel inspecting?

5. What does Pham don to go after Greenstalk?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In A Fire upon the Deep, it is hard to know who is the "good" guy versus the "bad" guy. Discuss one of the following:

1. Name two groups, factions, or individuals who are untrustworthy and analyze their actions and impact upon the plot throughout A Fire Upon the Deep. How far into the book does it take to separate the untrustworthy from those who can be trusted?

2. Name two groups/factions/individuals who are trustworthy and analyze their actions and impact upon the plot throughout A Fire Upon the Deep.

3. Are there some characters who can be trustworthy at times and not trustworthy at other times? Who? Why do they vacillate?

4. Ravna seems to be much more trusting than Pham. Do you think Ravna is too trusting? Is Pham too suspicious? Who does Pham mistrust and why? Give specific examples.

Essay Topic 3

The time this novel takes place at least 5 billion years after our present time. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think technology will have advanced as far or farther than that shown in A Fire Upon the Deep?

2. Vinge sets the novel so far into the future of at least 5 billion years that it seems cultures might be incomprehensible from the present, yet much of the world of that time is still familiar enough to understand. Do you think this fact works for you as a reader? Do you think Vinge might have done better to have set the novel not so far into the future? Why or why not?

3. History seems to be cyclic; major civilizations have arisen and fallen just over the course of human recorded history, much less history before anything is recorded. Given that fact, do you think it is likely that there have been many cycles of history and civilizations in the 5 billion years between now and when A Fire upon the Deep takes place? Do you think many of these civilizations would actually seem far more incomprehensible than the universe which exists at the time of A Fire upon the Deep? Why or why not? What might one of these almost incomprehensible civilizations be like?

(see the answer keys)

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