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. To where does the setting of the scene shift?

2. For whom does Fredricks work?

3. How long has Robish been in prison?

4. Where is Helen Laski?

5. Who is Ralphie?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to Dan when returning from picking up Griffin's money? How is Dan feeling at this point?

2. What is Eleanor doing with Dan?

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

4. What makes Jesse Bard scared about the report Winston is reading the first morning at the sheriff's department?

5. What does Griffin do after Ralphie runs away? How does Dan respond?

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

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

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

9. What does Griffin tell Eleanor?

10. Why do the criminals refuse money from Dan?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Desperate Hours belongs to the genre of drama. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. What do you think is the definition of drama? Write out your definition and then look up the definition in a literary dictionary. How similar are the two definitions?

2. Drama is written with the intention that it will be performed. How do you think this influences the manner in which the plot unfolds, the dialogue, the set complexity, the number of characters, and the length?

3. Compare Desperate Hours to a short story, such as "A Good Man is Hard to Find," by Flannery O'Conner. What are the differences? The similarities? Which do you enjoy reading the most?

Essay Topic 2

Chuck, Cindy's boyfriend, gets a gun and decides to sneak up on the house from the back and enter into the hostage situation. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Is it wise of Chuck to go into such a situation especially carrying a gun?

2. Why do you think Chuck thinks he would be of help? Is this a macho man act or is he motivated by his love for Cindy and by extension, her family?

3. Compare and contrast the actions of Chuck to those of Robish. Are these two classic examples of good and evil? Is anyone ever completely evil or completely good?

Essay Topic 3

In Act 2, Griffin completely loses his composure after Hank leaves and blames the Hilliards' comfortable life as the impetus for Hank's change of mind. Griffin especially blames Dan, who he likens to his own father with his domineering ways and strict rules. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Do you think the fact that Griffin blames the Hilliards for Hank leaving is just one aspect of his dysfunctional personality that leads him to prison? Discuss.

2. Many people, some criminal and other "normal" citizens often blame their parents for their problems. How much responsibility do parents have for the choices their children make as adults?

3. When is it time to stop blaming one's parents or upbringing for the mess one makes of one's own life?

(see the answer keys)

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