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 are the two most important things about the sub's condition that Dirk reports to Boland?

2. What branch of the military does Dirk belong to?

3. What is the hull number of the Starbuck?

4. What is the nickname of the area where the Starbuck went missing?

5. How long can the reactor continue to run unattended?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.)

2. Dirk describes a few incidents he has known in his work that "smacked of Jules Verne." Describe them and discuss Dirk's attitude towards "ghost catching."

3. Why is it important for ADM Hunter's men to get to the accident site when the gray van runs off the road before the Honolulu police?

4. Other than the submarine not being wholly flooded, what is the single most important fact that Dirk relays over the Starbuck's radio to the Martha Ann and why is it of the utmost significance?

5. In the hotel bar in Chapter 3, Adrian makes the statement: "Considering your amateur standing and less than mediocre talents, you're vastly overpriced. Whom is she speaking to and what does she mean?

6. 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?

7. How does Cussler describe ADM Sandecker at the beginning of Chapter that makes him seem like a likely person to work with Dirk Pitt?

8. What is the significance of there not being any paper in the crew's lounge area of the Starbuck?

9. 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?

10. What is a seamount?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

ADM Hunter's view of and reactions to Dirk will drive certain parts of the plot, especially towards the end of the book. How does ADM Hunter's view of Dirk change throughout the book? Cite specific examples of change moments. Where or to what do these changes lead?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Carefully analyze the "real" condition of the Starbuck with respect to international maritime law. Whose waters is she sitting in and who can rightfully claim her? How do the laws of maritime salvage govern this kind of at-sea loss? Most importantly, how does this contribute to the urgency and top-secretiveness in the plot?

(see the answer keys)

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