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. What is Pieter Van Ryberg's theory?

2. Why do the invaders want to keep tabs on Jan Rodricks?

3. Whom does Karellen meet with in his office in Chapter 9?

4. How long does Jan Rodricks feel that it will take him to reach the aliens' home planet?

5. How does the leader of the invaders make first contact with the people of Earth?

Short Essay Questions

1. What group kidnaps Rikki Stormgren, and for what reason?

2. Who is Rikki Stormgren, and what is his role?

3. What is Karellen's philosophy about world order that he shares with Rikki Stormgren?

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

5. Why are professional sports almost obsolete in 2050?

6. Who is Alexander Wainwright, and what is his role?

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

8. What does the arrival of the Overlords do to religion?

9. 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?

10. What is the relationship between Reinhold Hoffmann and the Russian scientist Konrad Schneider?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Professor Sullivan has prepared a squid and whale display for the Overlords to take back to their home planet. Describe the symbolism suggested by the whale and the squid as it amplifies the plot of the novel. Discuss why the story of Jonah and the whale is of interest to Karellen. Identify any elements of foreshadowing in Karellen's knowledge of the biblical story.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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