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 has the police department be ordered to do?

2. Where are Dan and Cindy to go the next morning?

3. Why do the criminals let Dan and Cindy go to work as usual?

4. Who refuses to relinquish Dan's gun?

5. Who shows up at the door after Dan leaves?

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

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 3

Back at the sheriff's department, Bard explains that Griffin shot a policeman and he exited his hideout with his hands up with an evil grin on his face, which made Bard hit the crook on the jaw. Carson reminds Bard that that was inappropriate behavior, and Bard just wishes he had killed Griffin when he had the chance.

1. Do you think Bard is justified in hitting Griffin? Would it have been better for Bard to have killed Griffin when he has the opportunity? We only hear Bard's side of Griffin's encounter with Bard but have no way of knowing what prompts Griffin to shoot a policeman. If the policeman had been beating Griffin in a life threatening way, would that have justified Griffin shooting the policeman to save his own life? The fact that Griffin leaves his hostages alive suggests that Griffin is not gratuitously violent. How does this figure in with what Bard reveals about Griffin?

2. How often do you think the police go beyond the bounds of subduing a suspect and into the area of police brutality? Research incidents of alleged police brutality and give specific examples. What do think should happen to police officers who brutalize a citizen?

3. Is there any other better system to maintain order that would work in the United States in lieu of a police force? Discuss possible alternatives to the police system.

(see the answer keys)

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