The Desperate Hours Test | Final Test - Hard

Joseph Hayes
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 140 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who spends the day home with the criminals?

2. What do the police find in the woods?

3. Where does Griffin tell the caller to send the money?

4. Why does Bard wish he had killed Griffin?

5. Where is Dan's gun found?

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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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