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. Who is Captain Largo?

2. What is odd about the dead body with which Leaphorn is concerned?

3. Why was an Amtrak train stopped for 38 minutes on the night of the murder that Leaphorn is investigating?

4. What does Chee ponder after reading the letter he receives?

5. How long has it been since Leaphorn performed regular exercise?

Short Essay Questions

1. With whom do Chee and Leaphorn meet and what does Chee tell the person?

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

3. What does Chee conclude about the Yeibichai mask and how does he come to that conclusion?

4. Why do Chee and Highhawk agree to meet at the museum?

5. What does Catherine Perry find on her desk and who does she blame?

6. Who does Leaphorn wish he could talk over the case with and why can't he?

7. Describe what Joe Leaphorn finds at the crime scene Kennedy asks him to investigate.

8. Who does Fleck kill and how does he manage to do so and what happens to Fleck afterward?

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

10. What does the man who was the conductor on the Amtrak train which stopped in the desert in New Mexico tell Joe Leaphorn?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In most fiction, readers would like all the loose ends to be neatly "tied up." Discuss the following:

1. Do you think Talking God is successful as a detective novel? Why or why not.

2. What about this book would motivate you to read another of Tony Hillerman series about Joe Leaphorn and the Navajo? What would discourage you from doing so?

3. Were all the "loose ends" satisfactorily settled for you? Why or why not.

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of themes that run as a thread throughout the novel. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Trace the development of the theme of stolen artifacts. Use specific examples to illustrate how this theme is expressed. Analyze the examples and offer an analysis of how the idea of stolen artifacts informs the entire novel.

2. Trace the development of the theme of greed. Use specific examples to illustrate how this theme is expressed. Analyze the examples and offer an analysis of how greed seems to be more a part of the predominant culture of the United States versus that of the Navajo Indians.

3. Trace the development of the theme of violence. Use specific examples to illustrate how this theme is expressed. Analyze the examples and offer an analysis as to why this theme is central to the novel's plot.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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