Pacific Vortex 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 Dirk argue that the Martha Ann's bevy of detection equipment may not keep her safe come nightfall?

2. What is the radio code for having found the Starbuck?

3. What is Barf the Magic Dragon?

4. Where is Dirk at the opening of the book?

5. Roughly how large is the Martha Ann in Dirk's estimate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Dirk notes some distinct oddities about the Starbuck's final resting place and the condition. Describe what these oddities mean.

2. Dirk sees no need to show up on time to his "date" with ADM Hunter (to report for duty). How is this reflective of both Dirk's personality and his attitude towards ADM Hunter?

3. Capt. Cinana quotes a Naval saying: "Those that lie deep in the Atlantic Sea Are recalled by shrines, wreathes and poetry, But those who lie in Pacific Sea Lie forgotten for all eternity." What does this mean?

4. What are some ways the Pacific Vortex is different from the Bermuda Triangle and other legendary danger areas?

5. Boland refers to himself as "the skipper" of the Martha Ann. What is a skipper?

6. Cussler gives a good description of rip tides after Dirk has swum out beyond the breakers at Kaena Point. Describe them, why they are dangerous and explain how best to swim through them if caught in one.

7. Why is Dirk's helicopter a necessary component of the crew on the Martha Ann?

8. Dirk does not appreciate ADM Hunter's highhanded move to take control of his [Dirk's] life by having him detailed to his [ADM Hunter's] command. How is he "persuaded" into it?

9. What are the different mysteries or questions that ADM Hunter enumerates as he reads the log?

10. What is a possible explanation for the food being gone after only five days? (Remember ADM Hunter makes it clear that they recently left port and should have enough for the entire crew for 90 days.)

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Pacific Vortex! is the first Dirk Pitt novel Clive Cussler wrote (even though it is published much later, after several other Pitt adventures) and indeed it shows signs of being a novice attempt. The character development is somewhat sporadic, there are questions or plot mysteries that are later left unanswered and some scenes that almost seem extraneous which are only loosely tied together by the final explanation. Characterize some of these "novice" elements using firm examples from the book. At the end, is there anything you wondered, "yes, but what about...?" How could Cussler have woven these plot threads or characters more tightly into the fabric of the story?

Essay Topic 2

Dirk Pitt's National Underwater and Marine Agency actually exists. Clive Cussler founded it and it is run by himself and his son. What are the differences between the real NUMA and Dirk Pitt's NUMA? How are the character of Dirk Pitt and his NUMA representative of perhaps a deep seeded fantasy for the author, things he would really like to do and have exist? Are perhaps some of the events in the story autobiographical or merely a dream?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze the concept the title embodies. Things to consider in your response: What is the REAL "pacific vortex"? How does it compare to the Pacific Vortex that Cussler describes? How does it compare to the Bermuda Triangle? Is "vortex" a good name for or description of the activities at Delphi's seamount? In other words, have the sailors in the book come up with an appropriate name? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,310 words
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