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 type of message does Glenn deliver over the phone?

2. Who does Griffin pretend to be to Eleanor?

3. How old is Ralphie?

4. Where does the situation in the wire report take place?

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 Hank do when Cindy tries to move?

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

5. What does Griffin want Dan and Cindy to do in the morning?

6. What does Robish do when Chuck begins to come downstairs?

7. What is Cindy doing when Dan and Eleanor are in their room?

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

9. What does Ralphie do while everyone's attention is on Cindy?

10. Who shows up at the house that night?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In Act 1, Hank gets melancholy because he will never have a girl like Cindy or live in a nice house like the Hilliards'. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Do you feel sympathetic towards Hank? Why or why not?

2. Two of the convicts, Hank and Glen, are brothers. Why do you think two brothers both end up as convicts? Do you think they had a difficult upbringing? Would that make any difference in your feelings of sympathy towards either man?

3. Do you think that someone raised in an abusive home is more likely to become a criminal than one raised in a loving home? Discuss your stance, giving examples from research.

(see the answer keys)

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