Talking God 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 does Leaphorn do at dusk?

2. Who is Catherine Morris Perry?

3. What is in the letter that Chee opens in chapter 7?

4. What passes Leaphorn as he stands in the dark?

5. What is on Perry's desk when she arrives at her office after returning to Washington, D. C.?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who picks up Chee at the airport and what does he observe about the men?

2. What is Catherine Perry's thoughts about Highhawk's request?

3. For whom does Janet Chee work and what is her relationship to her immediate supervisor?

4. What shocks Catherine Perry about the box on her desk?

5. What does Janet Pete tell Jim Chee when she calls him at his office?

6. What does Anges Tsosie tell Joe Leaphorn when he questions her?

7. Why does Joe Leaphorn believe harmony has been restored in terms of the corpse in the desert?

8. What is Leroy Fleck's most pressing personal problem?

9. What frustrates Leaphorn about the dead body in the desert, and also what about the corpse puzzles Leaphorn.

10. What does Janet say about one of McDermott's clients who is a real estate developer?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Most mystery novels have an element of fear and suspense. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of fear in Talking God. Use specific examples to support your ideas. In what ways is fear felt? Who feels fearful? Why?

2. Why do you think many people enjoy getting scared? For example--in spook houses at Halloween or by reading mystery/suspense novels that contain an element of fear?

3. Is anything a character is afraid of within his/her control to change? What? Why do you think the character has not addressed those issues?

4. Discuss whether or not you enjoy the experience of being scared when you know it is not "real."

Essay Topic 2

Talking God belongs to the detective/crime/mystery genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the detective/crime/mystery genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a suspense novel and a murder mystery?

4. Many in the world of academe do not see mystery as a serious genre, that its primary purpose is entertainment and not "worthy" of being studied by serious students of literature? Respond to that idea.

Essay Topic 3

Talking God, like most novels in the detective genre involves police officers and police work. Discuss the following:

1. What are the characteristics of an effective police officer? Does Leaphorn perform well as a police officer? What about Chee? Kennedy?

2. What additional characteristics does a police detective need versus a policeman on the beat?

3. Discuss the clash between the FBI and the police. Should more cooperation take place between the agencies? Why do you think the FBI is often portrayed in an uncomplimentary light in police/detective novels? How does Hillerman portray the FBI?

(see the answer keys)

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