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. Why is Bard fearful of the man mentioned in the wire report?

2. How old is Cindy?

3. What outrages Dan?

4. To where does the setting of the scene shift?

5. Who is Helen Laski?

Short Essay Questions

1. What raises tensions in the house?

2. Why is Miss Swift upset about the Hilliard's house and what does Dan do about it?

3. What does Bard say about his encounter with Griffin in the past?

4. What does Carson tell Bard about Hank?

5. What does Hank do when Cindy tries to move?

6. Why and how does Chuck confront Griffin?

7. What does Griffin do after Ralphie runs away? How does Dan respond?

8. What finally pushes Griffin over the edge?

9. What makes Jesse Bard scared about the report Winston is reading the first morning at the sheriff's department?

10. What is beginning to unnerve Hank?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Near the end of Act 2, Carson calls Bard with the news that Hank has been shot and killed trying to steal a car with a gun registered to Dan Hilliard.

1. Do you feel any sympathy for Hank's death? Why do you think he put himself in a position to be killed? Or did he?

2. Do you think the police did everything possible to capture rather than kill Hank (especially in light of what Bard says near the opening of the play that he wishes he had killed Hank's brother when Bard had the chance)? Explain your thoughts on the situation.

3. Do you think most police would prefer to capture a suspect rather than kill him/her? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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