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. Where are George Greggson and Jean Morrel from?

2. What purpose do the alien ships on or around Earth serve?

3. How many ships are actually present on or around Earth?

4. When Karellen ultimately speaks prior to his revealing himself for the first time, what does he ask for?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Karellen, and what does he state is his intention for occupying Earth?

2. What does Reinhold Hoffmann see in the night sky over the island of Taratura, and what does it imply?

3. Who are the Overlords, and where are they found at the beginning of Chapter 2?

4. What biblical story does Jan Rodricks refer to in his letter to his sister, and why is that significant?

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

6. How do the Overlords intimidate humans with a ruse?

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

8. Why are professional sports almost obsolete in 2050?

9. What is the role of the American scientist Reinhold Hoffmann?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The supernatural seems to intrude on the natural during the seance held at Rupert Boyce's home. While "Childhood's End" is a work of science fiction, identify two or three events that might seem better suited to a work of fantasy or supernatural fiction. Why did Clarke interject these events into what most would consider "hard" science fiction? Discuss whether Clarke using this fictional convention helps or hinders the overall theme of the book.

Essay Topic 2

New Athens is introduced as another backdrop for events in the novel, and Ben Salomon is identified as the colony's founder. Contrast the differences in New Athens and the rest of the Utopian society. Discuss Salomon's rationale in founding New Athens. Note and emphasize his desire for it to be an artists' colony and his reasoning behind that decision. Another biblical reference is noted with Salomon and his comparison to Moses. Discuss the spiritual (but not necessarily religious) implications in Salomon's work.

Essay Topic 3

Jan Rodricks decides to hide himself in a whale display that will be loaded on board the Overlords' ship and transported to their planet. Discuss the price he has to pay relative to friends and loved ones by going through with his plot. Was it "worth it"? Explain. Rodricks also refers to the story of Jonah and the whale, another one of several biblical references in the novel. Discuss what parallels to the biblical account he sees in his own life.

(see the answer keys)

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