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. Who calls Griffin?

2. Who spends the day home with the criminals?

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

4. What is about to cause Hank to snap?

5. What does the person want?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

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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