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. What are the people of Melbourne doing to cope with the reality of pending death?

2. Why are they forbidden to go to Townsville?

3. What plants does Mary want around the house?

4. Why is there a shortage of fuel?

5. How did the war escalate?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is notable about Mary's plans for her garden?

3. How had Dwight been warned of the possibility of the war?

4. How does the USS Swordfish illustrate the movement of the radiation?

5. Why did governments resort to using nuclear weapons?

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

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

8. What does John Osbourne estimate was the size of the nuclear war that was fought?

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

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

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 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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