The Day of the Triffids 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 Vorless, the sociologist, say about belief?

2. Why does Bill seem to be looking forward to the future?

3. Where does Bill go at the end of Chapter Three?

4. Why does Bill not help people in the beginning of Chapter Four?

5. Who is Elspeth Cary?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the walking style of a triffid.

2. Explain why Bill decides to go to London at the beginning of Chapter Three?

3. Describe the circumstances that resulted in Bill's hospitalization.

4. Describe the scene where the narrator first learns of the blindness that plagues mankind.

5. Why does Bill not kill the man holding Josella captive?

6. What is revealed about the new use for sighted children and blind women in Chapter Three?

7. Explain why the Colonel and the others want to leave London?

8. Following the witness of a couple committing suicide, Bill admits to himself that he must 'grow a hide'. Explain his meaning.

9. Explain the difference between Josella's view of triffids and Bill's. Why are they do drastically different?

10. What clues does the narrator have that there is something wrong when he wakes in the hospital?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain Bill's belief about the end of civilization, based on his previous comments in the novel about the dangers of satellites and the hostility of the world, as well as his comments in Chapter Fifteen about the walking of the world on a tightrope. What do you think Bill means by this? What do you think he believes caused the end of civilization? What does he say he thinks caused the comet? What is Josella's response to his belief? Do you agree with his thoughts? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the novel, the narrator is forced to deal with figures in authority and to choose whether to believe what they say or not. Authority figures in the novel range from radio announcers to people in authoritative positions, such as the Colonel and Coker, and those who wish power over anything else, such as the Commander. Choose one situation in which Bill is forced to choose between following authority and ignoring authority. Explain the situation. What does this say about Bill's willingness to think for himself? About his willingness to blindly follow authority figures? Why is this important? In terms of authority in the novel, what is the author suggesting about military authority? How are these suggestions brought forth (i.e., which characters represent military authority). What does this say about Wyndham's own view of military authority?

Essay Topic 3

In the novel, there are several small communities that are introduced, including those of University Tower, Tynsham, Shirning, the Isle of Wright, and others. Describe at least two of these communities in detail. What are their beliefs about the role of women? About freedom? About morality? What are some of the social ideas presented within these communities? Which succeed, which fail, and why? Which society would you join? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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