On the Beach 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. Why does it not take long to bring Osbourne on board the submarine?

2. What are Peter and Mary doing while Dwight and Moira attend church?

3. Where is the USS Swordfish, another nuclear powered submarine?

4. Why does Peter not hold out much hope for a naval assignment?

5. Why does Peter not take the car to Melbourne?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Moira Davidson dealing with the eminent threat of death by radiation?

2. What is of special interest about the radio signals coming from around Seattle?

3. Describe briefly what the story is about.

4. In what way does Dwight hold out some hope for the situation?

5. Why did governments resort to using nuclear weapons?

6. Explain why Peter, a navy lieutenant-commander, has not worked for the past seven months.

7. What is Dwight's experience in church the weekend he spends with Peter and Mary?

8. What does it mean that the people had all died tidily?

9. Why have people grown accustomed to the radiation coming their way and just go about their regular business?

10. How does the relationship between Dwight and Moira develop?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the responsibility people have to others when taking any action. In your essay show how governments did not take into consideration anything but their own greedy desires, never once thinking how their nuclear attacks might affect the entire world. Take it down to a less grand level and write about how even small personal actions my affect not just ourselves but others as well.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the pointlessness of using alcohol or drugs to avoid facing realities. Mention how people in the novel first started having boisterous parties with lots of alcohol consumption but later realized that it was not helping to solve the problem. Turn you essay to people who attempt to use mind altering substances as a way of dealing with problems of a much smaller scale than the extreme problem of ON THE BEACH.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about holding onto personal values regardless of external circumstances. Express your opinion of Dwight who remains faithful to a dead wife and children. Does his behavior in the novel mark him as a heroic figure?

(see the answer keys)

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