The Desperate Hours Test | Final Test - Hard

Joseph Hayes
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What causes Hank to become angry?

2. How does Griffin exit his hideout?

3. What is communicated in a letter received by the police?

4. How does Dan act when he arrives home?

5. What does Bard order?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Mr. Patterson, the garbage man, comes by to collect money for the monthly bill and realizes something is suspicious. Robish jumps on the back of his truck and ends up murdering Mr. Patterson. Answer the following questions in a well-developed essay using examples from the book as well as personal experience:

1. Is there anything Mr. Patterson could have done to be safe? Would you have thought to check the back of your truck under the same circumstance?

2. Do you think that the only thing Robish could have done is kill Mr. Patterson? What about tying him up and letting someone else know later? What does it say about Robish as a person that he so easily kills a man?

3. Do you think Glen Griffin would have taken the same action as Robish against Mr. Patterson? What about Hank?

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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