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. Who talks about the illusion of self awareness?

2. What does Vendacious reveal to Johanna about Jefri?

3. What does Pham realize about Ravna?

4. What are Riders through their skrodes?

5. What is Johanna doing as Pham aims his beam gun?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often titles reveal much about one or more aspects of a novel. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think is the purpose of a title? How closely related to a major theme(s) of a book do you think a title should be? Or should it be?

2. How is the phrase "A Fire upon the Deep" relevant to the action of the novel? What sort of emotional and psychological response does the title evoke? Why do you think Vinge chose this title? If you were perusing the library for a book to read and saw this title, would it pique your interest? Why or why not. Does it seem to be the best title for the book?

3. If you were the writer of A Fire upon the Deep and your editor says the title must be changed, what would you choose? Why?

Essay Topic 2

In chapter 15, Steel tours his dungeons, where the "raw material" is driven crazy to serve as the basis "blank packs." The dungeon is described in horrifying detail and contrasted with Woodcarver's processes aimed at the same goal, but bounded by "traditional ethics." Discuss the following:

1. Though Steel's methods are more horrific than Woodcarver's, their end goal is the same. Is this goal ethical? Why or why not?

2. Do you think what Steel and Woodcarver are attempting to do is moving the evolution of the Tines forward? Why or why not?

3. What do you think Steel and Woodcarver want in creating blank packs? Are there other ways of obtaining the same end without dubious means?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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