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 offer the criminals?

2. Where is a getaway car hidden?

3. Who is Chuck?

4. For whom does Carson work?

5. How long has Robish been in prison?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Carson tell Dan the police will do after Dan returns to his house?

3. What does Griffin do to Eleanor after she opens the door?

4. What does Griffin do at the Hilliard house that evening?

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

6. What does Griffin say that makes Hank angry?

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

8. Who shows up at the house the next morning?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The three convicts enter the Hilliard home and take Eleanor hostage. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Describe how Eleanor responds to the convicts' invasion. Do you think you would respond in a similar fashion? Why or why not?

2. Have you heard of a psychological response to a hostage situation called the "Stockholm Syndrome?" Research about this syndrome and then decide if you think the Hilliard family became that type of hostage. Why or why not?

3. Could Eleanor have done anything differently at the very beginning of this situation so that it did not escalate into a hostage situation? Do you think Eleanor's actions would be different now in the 21st century than when this situation occurs in the 1950s?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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