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. How long has Robish been in prison?

2. Who calls on the phone?

3. Who does Griffin pretend to be to Eleanor?

4. How much whiskey does Dan bring home?

5. What name causes Bard to feel terror?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the police department do about their information?

2. What does Griffin order Eleanor and Cindy to do after everyone is home?

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

4. What does Robish taunt Griffin about?

5. What does Ralphie do when he comes home?

6. Who shows up at the house that night?

7. What does Hank tell Griffin and what does Griffin try to do?

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

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

10. What does Griffin order Cindy to do with some of Helen's money and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

When Cindy first arrives home after the three convicts have taken control of the home, she realizes the situation and almost runs, but Griffin stops her with the threat that he will kill Eleanor if Cindy tries to leave. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Would you run or stay if you were Cindy? Consider that it is possible the convicts would kill you along with your mother no matter what they say. Explain your rationale.

2. If you were Eleanor, would you want your daughter to run, even if it means your death? Explain.

3. Later in the story, the young boy of the household, Ralphie, does try to leave, though he is caught by Robish. Why do you think Ralphie tries to run; whereas, Cindy decides to enter the house and voluntarily become a hostage?

Essay Topic 3

Tensions begin to mount halfway through Act 2, and Griffin seems to be losing control of the other two convicts. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Do you think the other two men had originally decided that Griffin was their leader? How do you think it was determined who took charge?

2. Who is in charge of the Hilliard family? Why do you think this is so? Do you think the dynamics of the family would be different in the 21st century? Would the same person still be in charge?

3. Who else in the book seems to demonstrate leadership qualities besides Dan and Glen? Does anyone?

(see the answer keys)

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