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. Where is Helen Laski?

2. With what does Griffin gain Dan and Cindy's cooperation?

3. What does Griffin tell Cindy?

4. Who do the police hope will lead them to the men for whom they are searching?

5. What does Ralphie want to do?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Ralphie do when he comes home?

5. Why is Dan Hilliard suspicious when he arrives home?

6. What raises tensions in the house?

7. What is Eleanor doing with Dan?

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

9. What happens to Griffin when he leaves the Hilliard house?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

In Act 1, when Dan arrives home and realizes the situation, Griffin tells Dan that they only need to hide until midnight, and then they will be gone. Dan tries to offer the criminals money to leave, but they are fixed on waiting for the money from Helen so that they can get away to Louisville. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Why do you think the criminals insist on waiting for the money from Helen if Dan offers them enough money to be able to leave?

2. Why do you think Helen is willing to bring the convicts money when if she is caught, she will likely go to prison herself? Do you think Griffin really loves Helen if he would put her in that position?

3. Do you think the convicts are realistic in thinking that Helen will actually make it to the house without being watched and they will all be able to peaceably leave the Hilliard home? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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