Young Men & Fire 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 was the severely burned deer doing as the author watched?

2. Why were Sylvia and Hellman not suffering from their burns?

3. How long did the author hear stories about the Mann Gulch fire before he felt he needed to see it himself?

4. How many feet does a Smokejumper fall before his parachute opens?

5. Where did the Fish Creek fire actually burn?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do firefighters routinely contain small forest fires?

2. What are the two causes of fires? What caused the Mann Gulch fire? Where did the fire start? How?

3. Where was the ranger station in which the author was stationed? What was the commonly held belief about the Fish Creek fire? Why was this theory reasonable?

4. What is a Pulanski? Where did it come from? What does it do? Who is it named after?

5. What did the author do when he reached the top of the ridge? What did he decide to do next?

6. Why did Dodge, Sallee, and Rumsey escape death from the fire, and the other men, including Hellman and Diettert, did not?

7. What did the author learn about the Mann Gulch fire smokejumpers? How did this affect him? Why was the author so interested in the news of the Mann Gulch fire?

8. What were the topographical differences in the north and the south sides of the mountains separated by Mann Gulch? What did these conditions have to do with the fire?

9. Why were the grasses so high on the north side at the time of the fire? What implications did this have for the Mann Gulch fire?

10. To what did Maclean compare the smokejumper's jump from the plane? Why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Maclean says at the end of his story he wrote his fire report "so I could accompany young men whose lives I might have lived on their way to death. I have climbed where they climbed, and in my time I have fought fire and inquired into its nature." Discuss this quote.

Essay Topic 2

Maclean speaks throughout his book about the importance of studying and understanding the Mann Gulch fire of 1949. Discuss why Maclean believes it is important to understand this disaster completely.

Essay Topic 3

Point of view is important in any storytelling. What is this story's point of view? Does the author display particular bias toward one theory or another? One group or another? Has Maclean been trustworthy as a storyteller? Discuss using examples.

(see the answer keys)

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