Tunnel in the Sky 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. When Rod pins down the boy who butchered the animal he was hunting, what does he ask the boy to do?

2. What number does Rod draw, for entering the gate to the unknown planet?

3. Who is the instructor for Rod's survival course?

4. What item does Deacon Matson assure Rod he can leave behind, because he will not need it for the final exam?

5. How does the air pressure of the Grand Canyon plateau compare with that of New Jersey?

Short Essay Questions

1. What career field does Rod wish to pursue?

2. What strange sound prevents Rod from sleeping comfortably during his first night on the unknown planet?

3. Describe the "marching hordes" seen by Rod in Emigrants' Gap.

4. Where does Rod decide to sleep during his first night on an unknown planet, and what unforeseen difficulty does he experience?

5. Which students does Rod consider taking as a partner for his final exam, and why does he ultimately reject each?

6. What major setback does Rod suffer at the conclusion of Chapter 3?

7. Why is Chapter 6 titled, "I Think He's Dead?"

8. What grisly sight does Rod encounter, shortly after arriving alone on an unknown planet?

9. Why does Helen choose to tell Rod about his parents' decision, despite telling them that she would not reveal their plan?

10. What shocking secret does Jimmy reveal to Rod, regarding Jack?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the family dynamics of the Walker family, as depicted early in the novel. Why do Rod's parents conceal from him the fact that Rod's father is terminally ill and the fact that both of Rod's parents plan to be frozen for twenty years in the hope that a cure will be found? How do the family dynamics change by the final chapter, as a result of Rod's new life experiences and the passage of time?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the governmental styles of Rod Walker and Grant Cowper. How are the two ultimately able to work together, despite their differences? What does this say about Heinlein's attitudes toward democracy and dictatorship, cooperation and autonomy?

Essay Topic 3

What elements must be present in order for a novel to be classified as science fiction? How do descriptions early in the novel lead the reader into the world of "Tunnel in the Sky," creating the situations and showcasing the technologies necessary for the plot to develop? What is the author's attitude regarding the technologies he imagines in this world?

(see the answer keys)

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