Black Wind 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 are Dirk Pitt, Sr., and Al Giordino doing in the Philippines?

2. Who picks up Dirk and Summer to take them back to America?

3. Where are the U.S. ambassador to Japan and British ambassador to Japan found at the opening of Chapter 4?

4. Who is described in Chapter 31 as a "fiery bantam?"

5. Where are Dirk and Summer during the attack on the Sea Rover?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Dirk and Sarah surmise about the fishing trawler at the conclusion of Chapter 3?

2. What is Kang's true motivation for wanting the American military out of South Korea?

3. What is so audacious about the way Kang plans to kill Dirk and Summer in Chapter 34?

4. How does Kang plan to use the Odyssey in Chapter 37?

5. Describe the death of the first two meteorologists in Chapter 1.

6. What is the mission of the Japanese Red Army?

7. Describe how Dirk and Summer escape from the I-411 in Chapter 25.

8. What does Kang plan to do with the Baekje?

9. What do Dirk and Dahlgren discover about the I-403 in Chapter 9?

10. Why does Tanaka lie to Commander Ogawa in the introduction when Ogawa asks if his crew is in danger in the book's introduction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the way Cussler structures his plot. Is he a "formula" writer? If so, what "formula" does he use? Analyzing the book as a whole, compare the book to other books or movies in popular culture. Since the Dirk Pitt books are considered a series or "franchise," compare them to other series or franchises. In your discussion, rate Cussler's work in Black Wind to any one entry in another series (we are assuming that Black Wind is the only Dirk Pitt novel you have read.) Compare and contrast heroes, villains, plots, etc.

Essay Topic 2

Black Wind was a father/son endeavor, written by both Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler. Evaluate the effectiveness of this teamwork. Identify any shifts in plot or tone that might be due to a different writer. Speculate as to why Clive Cussler may have included Dirk Cussler in the project. Finally, evaluate why Clive Cussler might have inserted himself into the story, and whether that is a wise choice or not. For additional consideration, can you think of other books or movies where an author or filmmaker might have inserted themselves into a story or film as a "cameo?" Is that a novelty or vanity move, or can it enhance the story?

Essay Topic 3

Virtually all of Black Wind takes place either above, on the surface of, or under the sea. It is obviously an environment Cussler feels comfortable with. Discuss whether or not the sea itself could be considered a character in the book, whether it is benign or threatening, how the characters relate to it, and if the story be told in some fashion on dry land. Consider, too, if the sea could act as a symbol. If so, what might it be symbolic of?

(see the answer keys)

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