The Thirty-Nine Steps Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is known about Richard Hannay at the beginning of the story?

Richard Hannay is a Scot turned Brit who has for the past three months lived in a modest flat in the Old Country in rural England. At age 37, Hannay is bored of the sights, the restaurants, and the people, feeling he has no true friends or pals, and finds he cannot help but yawn and regret his circumstances most of the time. If he cannot cure his boredom soon, he has resolved to move back to the Cape.

2. How does Hannay come to meet Scudder?

One day returning to his flat, Hannay is confronted by Franklin Scudder, an older man living in the flat above his. Scudder asks to come in, and the man quickly locks the door behind them, clearly in a panic. Scudder states that he is a dead man, and he relates to Hannay his unfortunate circumstance.

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