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. For how long did the Russians and Chinese figure nuclear bombs would render land uninhabitable?

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

3. What is Peter hoping for?

4. Why does Osbourne say that perhaps people did not deserve the world?

5. What is Mary's chief concern at this point?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain Moira's answer that she will face the facts of life next September.

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

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

4. Why did governments resort to using nuclear weapons?

5. Describe briefly what the story is about.

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

7. What does Moira learn about Dwight while touring the submarine?

8. How does Shute explain the proliferation of atomic weapons?

9. How do some people hold the hope that one day humans will again populate the Earth?

10. Explain where is it deemed possible that life might actually be able to continue on Earth?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on stoicism in the face of death. Use John Osbourne as your example of a person who knows what to expect and accepts the inevitable. State your opinion about the dignity with which Osbourne faces death.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on suicide as a way of avoiding an otherwise very painful death. Include the moral aspects of suicide in general and explain whether or not you think there may be extenuating circumstances that make suicide acceptable.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about planning for the future. In your essay use Mary Holmes' garden as an example of planning for the future. In your essay point out that Mary did not think about what would prevent her from enjoying the fruits of her plans. Include the idea that if no plans are made, there is no goal in life, and therefore nothing can be accomplished.

(see the answer keys)

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