The Desperate Hours Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Joseph Hayes
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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 Dan's response to Ralphie's request.

2. What is in place to apprehend the suspect(s)?

3. What name causes Bard to feel terror?

4. Whose responsibility is the situation in the wire report?

5. Who does Griffin pretend to be to Eleanor?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Eleanor doing with Dan?

2. What does Griffin tell Helen when she calls?

3. Who shows up at the house that night?

4. What type of classic theme is exhibited by the interpersonal dynamics in this play?

5. Why is Dan Hilliard suspicious when he arrives home?

6. What does Carson tell Bard about Hank?

7. Why and how does Chuck confront Griffin?

8. What does Bard tell Dan about Dan's feelings?

9. What happens to Griffin when he leaves the Hilliard house?

10. What does Griffin do at the Hilliard house that evening?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The ending of Desperate Hours comes when the last convict, Glen Griffin, is out of the house and killed by the police. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Why do you think Dan will not kill Griffin even when Griffin asks him to?

2. Do you think Glen could have come out of the situation alive? Would he want to? Why does he not care about living? Is his brother really that important to him?

3. Did the police have no alternative than to shoot Glen? It says Glen was waving the gun, not that he was aiming the gun at anyone. Should the police tried to get Glen to drop the gun first before killing him?

Essay Topic 2

Chuck, Cindy's boyfriend, gets a gun and decides to sneak up on the house from the back and enter into the hostage situation. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Is it wise of Chuck to go into such a situation especially carrying a gun?

2. Why do you think Chuck thinks he would be of help? Is this a macho man act or is he motivated by his love for Cindy and by extension, her family?

3. Compare and contrast the actions of Chuck to those of Robish. Are these two classic examples of good and evil? Is anyone ever completely evil or completely good?

Essay Topic 3

Besides belonging to the literary genre of drama, Desperate Hours is a category that might be called suspense drama. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Compare and contrast a drama with that of Desperate Hours. What elements are similar? Different? Which do you prefer?

2. What do you think is the difference between suspense and terror? Give examples of drama or films that you would label suspense and examples that you would label terror. Give specific details to demonstrate elements of suspense and terror. Which do you enjoy the most? Why?

3. Alfred Hitchcock is often called the Master of Suspense. Watch one of his films and compare and contrast it to Desperate Hours. Which do you enjoy the most?

(see the answer keys)

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