Childhood's End 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. In Chapter 1, the United States and Russia are in a race to be the first to do what?

2. What does Karelllen do for Rikki Stormgren during their last meeting?

3. Why are newspapers of little value?

4. Who is the Assistant Commissioner for Nuclear Science of Russia?

5. What is true about Earth in the 21st century?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Jan Rodricks ask Professor Sullivan to help him do, and what is Sullivan's response?

2. Rikki Stormgren triggers an x-ray device on board the Overlords' ship. Why does Stormgren bring the device on board, and what does the x-ray reveal?

3. What does Jan Rodricks learn from his research in star catalogs, and what is the significance of his discovery?

4. Why are newspapers virtually obsolete in 2050?

5. Why are the journalists and spectators waiting in anticipation at the beginning of Chapter 5?

6. How are George Greggson and Jean Morrel introduced in Chapter 7?

7. What is the difference between the Eastern media and Western media concerning the Overlords' rule?

8. Who is Pieter Van Ryberg, and what does he do after Rikki Stormgren's disappearance?

9. What game does Rupert Boyce play with his remaining guests, and why?

10. How is Rikki Stormgren freed from the group that has kidnapped him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The last few chapters of "Childhood's End" are tinged with definite melancholy and a sense of loss. Discuss George Greggson and Jean Morrel's feelings as their two children seem to be slipping away. Discuss if this is akin to the grief someone would feel at the death of a loved one. Compare the sense of loss they feel with the emotions Karellen seems to be developing toward the end of the story. Are the two children really "lost"? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the book, Clarke drops subtle hints (and some not so subtle) of what is to come, employing the literary device of foreshadowing. Identify at least three major incidences of foreshadowing, in which an event in the book points toward its ultimate conclusion. With each event earlier in the book, cite the event that fulfills the foreshadowing that came earlier, and the plot elements that moved the story from the foreshadowing incident to the outcome.

Essay Topic 3

Earth, as the characters in the novel know it, ends. In the story arc, identify when the end of mankind becomes inevitable. Discuss whether or not the novel could have ended any other way. Are George Greggson, Jean Morrel, and Jan Rodricks tragic figures, or are they heroes? Defend your answer. If Clarke had asked you to title his novel, would you have chosen "Childhood's End" or "Childhood's Beginning"? Explain your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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