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. What is Dirk's new assignment now that he has read the submarine log and reported it?

2. What is unusual about the security on the <I>Martha Ann</I>?

3. What unusual equipment does LT Stanley sight on the first wreck that the <I>Martha Ann</I> discovers?

4. Who is Dirk Pitt's father?

5. How many distress signals have been received from ships that have gone down where the <I>Starbuck</I> is last reported?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Pitt know that the <I>Martha Ann</I> is out of radio contact with the world?

2. What is a seamount?

3. Why is the <I>Starbuck</I>'s last reported position Top Secret information?

4. Dirk notes some distinct oddities about the <I>Starbuck</I>'s final resting place and the condition. Describe what these oddities mean.

5. Acting on a hunch, Dirk goes to the Polynesian history museum to visit a friend well versed in the history and culture of the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands. Why?

6. How is the scent of the eucalyptus oil explained? How does it support the theory of the seamount?

7. How does Dirk reinforce his disregard for authority upon return from the Pacific Vortex with the crew of the <I>Martha Ann</I>?

8. What two things does the receptionist at ADM Hunter's office assume of Dirk Pitt when he arrives in his bathing suit?

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

Essay Topic 1

LCDR Paul Boland and Dirk Pitt have other differences besides personality, one of them being background. Dirk accuses Boland of being unperceptive as to the oddities of the condition of the Starbuck. How do their very different backgrounds affect their perception of "important details" and why is Boland more likely to overlook the key factors in the discovery of the Starbuck?

Essay Topic 2

Dirk refers to the salvage operations on the Thresher, the Bluefin, the Scorpion, and the submarine F-4. What are these boats or ships and what happened to them? How are they relevant to the sinking (and raising) of the Starbuck?

Essay Topic 3

How would you characterize Cussler's writing style in Pacific Vortex? Analyze all of the elements of writing style including the perspective, bias, structure, diction and syntax, imagery, etc. Is this a laudable first effort on Cussler's part? Is there perhaps a stylistic reason it is not the first published book?

(see the answer keys)

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