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 is Leaphorn asked to search?

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

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

4. What is Dalman, MacArthur, White and Herzog?

5. What is the setting for Chapter Two?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What is so mysterious about the body in the desert?

5. Describe Agnes Tsosie's visit to the doctor.

6. What is one source of cash for Fleck to help his mother and who does he contact about it?

7. Who has called Catherine Perry and what does she think he wants?

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

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

10. What has Henry Highhawk asked the Smithsonian to do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the overlying themes in this book and indeed most of Hillerman's books is the differences between White, Western culture and that of Native Americans. 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. Choose two of the following areas and compare and contrast the White, Western culture with the Native American culture: religion, nature, politics/government, marriage, death, war, gender roles.

2. Using the entire novel of Talking God, write an essay on how you think Hillerman perceives Native American culture.

3. Using the entire novel of Talking God, write an essay on how you think Hillerman perceives white, Western culture.

Essay Topic 2

Talking God, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy (or at least optimistic) note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Silent Prey and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Talking God is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

4. Discuss one idea in Talking God that might influence your thinking.

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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