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 does Griffin cheer up Hank?

2. To where does the setting of the scene shift?

3. Who is Cindy?

4. For whom does Carson work?

5. What does Eleanor do after the house is empty of others?

Short Essay Questions

1. While the convicts inside the house are arguing what does Chuck do?

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

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

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

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

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

7. How does Dan feel and what does he say about Cindy?

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

9. What does Dan convince the police to do?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In drama, setting plays a little different role than in a novel or even a film. Most of the setting is limited because of the logistics of changing sets and the expense of creating very many different scenes. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. How do you think the rather limited setting of Desperate Hours affects the overall impact of the play?

2. Most of the action of the play takes place in the Hilliard's living room and upstairs. How would you maximize the creating of these two scenes for the most versatility and interest?

3. What other aspects of a play do you think is enhanced by limited setting? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

In Act 3, Robish is convinced that someone is moving in on the house, but Griffin feels that the two remaining convicts are safe and will soon be on their way to Helen and Hank, who should be waiting in Louisville. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Do you think truly believes that he and Robish are safe? Is Griffin cracking under the stress of the situation?

2. Now with Hank gone from the house, do you think Griffin is becoming more careless and less caring about what happens to him and Robish?

3. Sometimes a leader will crack under stress and can no longer think clearly or make rational choices. Is this what is happening to Griffin? Do you think the Hilliard family would be in greater danger if Griffin cracks completely?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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