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 seems to be wearing a business suit at the airport?

2. What does Leaphorn's contact in Amtrak tell him?

3. Who is Jim Chee?

4. What is high quality but worn?

5. Who has been stalked by a mysterious person?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Henry Highhawk's appearance at the Night Chant ceremony.

2. What does the letter Chee receives from Mary reveal?

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

4. What is a possible break Leaphorn makes in the case as he revisits the scene at dusk?

5. What is Jim Chee's response to Mary's letter?

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

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

8. Where is Jim Chee planning to go on his vacation?

9. What ceremony is Jim Chee observing and why is he there?

10. What does Leaphorn find when he searches the luggage of Hilario Madrid- Perez for clues?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

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."

(see the answer keys)

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