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. In spite of all of the odd people Dirk has met since the beginning of the book, who is it that still haunts him as he gets underway on the Martha Ann?

2. How does Summer escape Dirk's hotel room?

3. Whose responsibility is it to plot the new search area for the Martha Ann after Dirk's interpretation of the evidence?

4. Why does Dirk argue that the Martha Ann's bevy of detection equipment may not keep her safe come nightfall?

5. How many consonants does the Hawaiian language have?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. Why is LT March so resistant to the idea of entering the submarine?

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

5. "Perhaps Pitt could do the impossible after all." These words go through Boland's mind after he hears that Pitt is radioing the Martha Ann from the Starbuck. There are several other references throughout the book so far that indicate Dirk has a reputation for being the sort of person who makes the wildly improbable succeed effortless. Who else has said this and where is that perception originating?

6. Why is the Starbuck's last reported position Top Secret information?

7. What is the significance of the Lillie Marlene?

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

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

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Everything in the submarine seems to indicate that someone is actively maintaining the vessel or at least "picked up afterwards." It seems an obvious inference that there might be someone still on the ship. Yet Dirk and LT March press ahead assuming it is a ghost ship. What might be some reasons for that? Psychological? Other evidence to the contrary? Stubbornness or at least reckless disregard for prudence?

(see the answer keys)

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