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 does Hank become melancholy?

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

3. Who is Chuck?

4. What name causes Bard to feel terror?

5. What is Dan's response to Ralphie's request.

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why doesn't Dan want Robish back in the house?

3. During the first scene at the Hilliard house, how does Eleanor feel when her family are all gone off to their daily places, and what does she do?

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

5. What happens when Cindy arrives home after her date with Chuck?

6. What gives the sheriff's office a clue about the convicts?

7. What does Dan do after Robish opens the front door?

8. What convinces Griffin to get ready to leave the house?

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

10. What is it about the man at the door that puzzles Eleanor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Back at the sheriff's department, Bard explains that Griffin shot a policeman and he exited his hideout with his hands up with an evil grin on his face, which made Bard hit the crook on the jaw. Carson reminds Bard that that was inappropriate behavior, and Bard just wishes he had killed Griffin when he had the chance.

1. Do you think Bard is justified in hitting Griffin? Would it have been better for Bard to have killed Griffin when he has the opportunity? We only hear Bard's side of Griffin's encounter with Bard but have no way of knowing what prompts Griffin to shoot a policeman. If the policeman had been beating Griffin in a life threatening way, would that have justified Griffin shooting the policeman to save his own life? The fact that Griffin leaves his hostages alive suggests that Griffin is not gratuitously violent. How does this figure in with what Bard reveals about Griffin?

2. How often do you think the police go beyond the bounds of subduing a suspect and into the area of police brutality? Research incidents of alleged police brutality and give specific examples. What do think should happen to police officers who brutalize a citizen?

3. Is there any other better system to maintain order that would work in the United States in lieu of a police force? Discuss possible alternatives to the police system.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Mr. Patterson, the garbage man, comes by to collect money for the monthly bill and realizes something is suspicious. Robish jumps on the back of his truck and ends up murdering Mr. Patterson. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Is there anything Mr. Patterson could have done to be safe? Would you have thought to check the back of your truck under the same circumstance?

2. Do you think that the only thing Robish could have done is kill Mr. Patterson? What about tying him up and letting someone else know later? What does it say about Robish as a person that he so easily kills a man?

3. Do you think Glen Griffin would have taken the same action as Robish against Mr. Patterson? What about Hank?

(see the answer keys)

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