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 does Dan tell Griffin the second Dan spies the loaded gun?

2. How long has Robish been in prison?

3. What happens while Cindy is keeping the attention of the criminals?

4. How does Griffin cheer up Hank?

5. Where has Helen Laski been spotted?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Robish taunt Griffin about?

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

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

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

5. What does Griffin tell Eleanor?

6. What does Dan convince the police to do?

7. What does Carson tell Bard about Hank?

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

9. What does Griffin make clear to Cindy and Dan?

10. What does Dan tell Eleanor to do after Robish is gone and what does Griffin do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In the very opening of Act 1, one immediate theme of the play is obvious--that of convicts and the penal system of the United States. 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 the penal system of the United States during the late-1940s and early-1950s to that of the early-21st century.

2. Answer the following questions after conducting some research: How do convicts manage to occasionally escape from what seems to be a very secure place? What type of prisoners tends to escape? How often do you think convicts escape? Do most escapees today refrain from harming hostages as was the case in this situation in Desperate Hours? Do you think the two brothers (Hank and Glenn) who were ultimately killed deserved death? What about Robish? What should happen to him?

3. Discuss the following questions in a cohesive essay: Do you believe today's prison system is cruel? Why or why not? What do you think is the reason for the high recidivism rate of convicts who are released and end up back in prison fairly quickly? Could the prison system do a better job of truly rehabilitating prisoners? What would that take?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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