Lucifer's Hammer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. What does Harvey find in the bedroom?

2. Who fires nuclear weapons upon the Soviets?

3. Who wants to meet the Romans?

4. Who is driving the travel all as they leave Harvey's house?

5. Where is Loretta?

Short Essay Questions

1. Most of the major characters are introduced in these first dozen or so chapters and much of what is written is about the protagonist(s), antagonist(s) and secondary characters. Define those three terms.

2. What is one repercussion of the "gloom and doom" message preached by Henry Armitage and others?

3. How are Harvey and Gordie somewhat similar in their financial situations?

4. What happens to Norm Lilly that demonstrates the continued deterioration of law and order?

5. Why is the rain that is falling salty?

6. Describe the activities aboard the space shuttle and comment upon the conversation.

7. Why do most scientists misjudge the path of the comet before it hits earth?

8. Define the literary term "comic relief" and give an example of it from this section.

9. Why does Harvey wonder about where Marie might be?

10. What is Harvey's reaction to what he finds and do you understand his reaction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Soon after the comet hits, Eric goes back to the Burbank Jail where he finds that a jailer has released all the prisoners except Fred. Eric, citing the fact that no one deserved to die locked in a cell, kills the murderer. Discuss the following:

Do you believe Eric did the right thing in killing Fred?

What if it were a prisoner where the certainty of his guilt was not proved; then what should Eric do?

What do you think should happen in the prisons across the United States where those serving time have been found guilty in a court of law? Should they be released from certain death if they remain locked up?

Essay Topic 2

As Tim is trying to get out of the city, he grabs an abandoned tape recorder and microphone and shoves it into an armed man's face, asking questions. Discuss one of the following:

Obviously Tim thinks quickly on his feet. This might be called an instance of "survival of the fittest." Discuss this concept as it appears through the entire book.

For some, survival has included cannibalism. Discuss the moral implications of cannibalism as a means of survival. Use examples from the book and real life (think of Donner Pass and the plane crash in the Andies).

Should the concept of "survival of the fittest" be the guiding principle in such a situation as that in Lucifer's Hammer?

Essay Topic 3

As Joanna listens to Mark and Frank, she's increasingly annoyed that Mark continually interrupts Frank with opinions of his own regarding what other catastrophes could cause the end of the world. Frank had originally been undecided whether to accompany the couple, but had gone because he felt Mark incapable of protecting Joanna and Joanna overly confident that she could protect herself. This book is set in the time in which it is written, the mid-1970s. Choose one of the following to discuss:

Discuss three predominant characteristics of 2 of the major female characters in the book. Do you think these women would be portrayed in a similar fashion in a book written today?

Do women still "need" protecting by men? If such a catastrophe happened in the first decade of the 21st century, would women have a different role than in this book?

Some of the fights take place because there are not enough women to "go around." Discuss this idea and its implications.

(see the answer keys)

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