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. How does Dirk send a message back to the <I>Martha Ann</I> from the <I>Starbuck</I>?

2. Why does ADM Hunter think CDR Dupree ordered his captain's log delivered to him?

3. Why does ADM Hunter think the crew could have still escaped and survived?

4. What words does LCDR Boland have tattooed on his arm?

5. Who is the narrator of Chapter 2?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Delphi's plan for the <I>Starbuck</I>?

2. What are some of the ways that Dirk knows that Summer is neither a government agent nor an American?

3. How do Dirk and LCDR Boland differ over how to wage battle against the men from the sea as they face impending attack on the <I>Martha Ann</I>?

4. What is the significance of there not being any paper in the crew's lounge area of the <I>Starbuck</I>?

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

6. In his description of the attack, Dirk notices something significant that could immeasurably assist the crew of the <I>Martha Ann</I> to prevent the boarding of the men from the sea. What is it and how could it be turned into an opportunity for the crew?

7. In this first book of the Dirk Pitt series written by Clive Cussler, Cussler immediately begins giving hints as to Dirk's colorful personality. What are some of the incidents or statements in the first chapter that illustrate Dirk's character?

8. 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.

9. How does Dirk determine that Hunter's crew has been searching the wrong area?

10. What are the multiple ways that the <I>Martha Ann</I> is disguised as a civilian ship?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

ADM Hunter says, "I'll not confuse the issue with a personal problem," in response to Dirk's question as to whether he has informed the men plotting to blow up the seamount that his daughter is being held hostage there. How does this statement capture the essence of ADM Hunter's character throughout the book?

Essay Topic 2

Part of the significance of the Starbuck to the Navy in Pacific Vortex! is her nuclear engineering and capability. Describe what nuclear power means to a submarine. What advantages does it give to a Naval submarine? How does this factor in to the various plot elements (concerns about operating the sub, condition of the sub, allowing her to sit, allowing her to be found by others, attempting to destroy her, etc.)?

Essay Topic 3

"Willing suspension of disbelief" is a necessary frame of mind for any reader or viewer of fiction material. However, in spite of accepting certain fantastic occurrences, readers will often begin to resist small strains on their credulity. Why does this kind of resistance begin to build in the mind of the reader? Analyze the concept of "willing suspension of disbelief" and why it is necessary to enjoy the book. Analyze your own responses to "unbelievable" parts of the book.

(see the answer keys)

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