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This online quiz has several questions. Each need to be answered in four to eight complete, college-level sentences. Explain fully and clearly. Show what you know. Any exact quotes (exact words) from the article should be in “quotation marks” and should not be overused. Quotes are only to support your answer, not replace it. There’s two PDF, one of them about the questions, and the others about the pargraph

The Last Night of the World
By Ray Bradbury; originally published in the February 1951 issue of Esquire
“What would you do if you knew this was the last night of the world?”
“What would I do; you mean, seriously?”
“Yes, seriously.”
“I don’t know — I hadn’t thought. She turned the handle of the silver coffeepot toward him and
placed the two cups in their saucers.
He poured some coffee. In the background, the two small girls were playing blocks on the
parlor rug in the light of the green hurricane lamps. There was an easy, clean aroma of brewed
coffee in the evening air.
“Well, better start thinking about it,” he said.
“You don’t mean it?” said his wife.
He nodded.
“A war?”
He shook his head.
“Not the hydrogen or atom bomb?”
“No.”
“Or germ warfare?”
“None of those at all,” he said, stirring his coffee slowly and staring into its black depths. “But
just the closing of a book, let’s say.”
“I don’t think I understand.”
“No, nor do I really. It’s just a feeling; sometimes it frightens me, sometimes I’m not frightened
at all — but peaceful.” He glanced in at the girls and their yellow hair shining in the bright
lamplight, and lowered his voice. “I didn’t say anything to you. It first happened about four
nights ago.”
“What?”
“A dream I had. I dreamt that it was all going to be over and a voice said it was; not any kind of
voice I can remember, but a voice anyway, and it said things would stop here on Earth. I didn’t
think too much about it when I awoke the next morning, but then I went to work and the
The Last Night of the World
feeling as with me all day. I caught Stan Willis looking out the window in the middle of the
afternoon and I said, ‘Penny for your thoughts, Stan,’ and he said, ‘I had a dream last night,’ and
before he even told me the dream, I knew what it was. I could have told him, but he told me
and I listened to him.”
“It was the same dream?”
“Yes. I told Stan I had dreamed it, too. He didn’t seem surprised. He relaxed, in fact. Then we
started walking through offices, for the hell of it. It wasn’t planned. We didn’t say, let’s walk
around. We just walked on our own, and everywhere we saw people looking at their desks or
their hands or out the windows and not seeing what was in front of their eyes. I talked to a few
of them; so did Stan.”
“And all of them had dreamed?”
“All of them. The same dream, with no difference.”
“Do you believe in the dream?”
“Yes. I’ve never been more certain.”
“And when will it stop? The world, I mean.”
“Sometime during the night for us, and then, as the night goes on around the world, those
advancing portions will go, too. It’ll take twenty-four hours for it all to go.”
They sat awhile not touching their coffee. Then they lifted it slowly and drank, looking at each
other.
“Do we deserve this?” she said.
“It’s not a matter of deserving, it’s just that things didn’t work out. I notice you didn’t even
argue about this. Why not?”
“I guess I have a reason,” she said.
“The same reason everyone at the office had?”
She nodded. “I didn’t want to say anything. It happened last night. And the women on the block
are talking about it, just among themselves.” She picked up the evening paper and held it
toward him. “There’s nothing in the news about it.”
“No, everyone knows, so what’s the need?” He took the paper and sat back in his chair, looking
at the girls and then at her. “Are you afraid?”
“No. Not even for the children. I always thought I would be frightened to death, but I’m not.”
“Where’s that spirit of self-preservation the scientists talk about so much?”
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The Last Night of the World
“I don’t know. You don’t get too excited when you feel things are logical. This is logical. Nothing
else but this could have happened from the way we’ve lived.”
“We haven’t been too bad, have we?”
“No, nor enormously good. I suppose that’s the trouble. We haven’t been very much of
anything except us, while a big part of the world was busy being lots of quite awful things.”
The girls were laughing in the parlor as they waved their hands and tumbled down their house
of blocks.
“I always imagined people would be screaming in the streets at a time like this.”
“I guess not. You don’t scream about the real thing.”
“Do you know, I won’t miss anything but you and the girls. I never liked cities or autos or
factories or my work or anything except you three. I won’t miss a thing except my family and
perhaps the change in the weather and a glass of cool water when the weather’s hot, or the
luxury of sleeping. Just little things, really. How can we sit here and talk this way?”
“Because there’s nothing else to do.”
“That’s it, of course, for if there were, we’d be doing it. I suppose this is the first time in the
history of the world that everyone has really known just what they were going to be doing
during the last night.”
“I wonder what everyone else will do now, this evening, for the next few hours.”
“Go to a show, listen to the radio, watch the TV, play cards, put the children to bed, get to bed
themselves, like always.”
“In a way that’s something to be proud of — like always.”
“We’re not all bad.”
They sat a moment and then he poured more coffee. “Why do you suppose it’s tonight?”
“Because.”
“Why not some night in the past ten years of in the last century, or five centuries ago or ten?”
“Maybe it’s because it was never February 30, 1951, ever before in history, and now it is and
that’s it, because this date means more than any other date ever meant and because it’s the
year when things are as they are all over the world and that’s why it’s the end.”
“There are bombers on their course both ways across the ocean tonight that’ll never see land
again.”
“That’s part of the reason why.”
3
The Last Night of the World
“Well,” he said. “What shall it be? Wash the dishes?”
They washed the dishes carefully and stacked them away with especial neatness. At eight-thirty
the girls were put to bed and kissed good night and the little lights by their beds turned on and
the door left a trifle open.
“I wonder,” said the husband, coming out and looking back, standing there with his pipe for a
moment.”
“What?”
“If the door should be shut all the way or if it should be left just a little ajar so we can hear them
if they call.”
“I wonder if the children know — if anyone mentioned anything to them?”
“No, of course not. They’d have asked us about it.”
They sat and read the papers and talked and listened to some radio music and then sat
together by the fireplace looking at the charcoal embers as the clock struck ten-thirty and
eleven and eleven-thirty. They thought of all the other people in the world who had spent their
evening, each in their own special way.
“Well,” he said at last. He kissed his wife for a long time.
“We’ve been good for each other, anyway.”
“Do you want to cry?” he asked.
“I don’t think so.”
They went through the house and turned out the lights and locked the doors, and went into the
bedroom and stood in the night cool darkness undressing. She took the spread from the bed
and folded it carefully over a chair, as always, and pushed back the covers. “The sheets are so
cool and clean and nice,” she said.
“I’m tired.”
“We’re both tired.”
They got into bed and lay back.
“Wait a moment,” she said.
He heard her get up and go out into the back of the house, and then he heard the soft shuffling
of a swinging door. A moment later she was back. “I left the water running in the kitchen,” she
said. “I turned the faucet off.”
Something about this was so funny that he had to laugh.
4
The Last Night of the World
She laughed with him, knowing what it was that she had done that was so funny. They stopped
laughing at last and lay in their cool night bed, their hands clasped, their heads together.
“Good night,” he said, after a moment.
“Good night,” she said, adding softly, “dear…”
5
QUESTION 1
1.
Describe the main setting of this story in detail.
QUESTION 2
1.
What do the main characters believe is going to happen and why do they believe it?
QUESTION 3
1.
First, identify (by stating) two types of conflict in this story. Then, choose one of those types of
conflict and support it with details and an example from the story.
QUESTION 4
1.
Choose one of the main characters and describe him or her as best as you can.
QUESTION 5
1.
What is a major theme for this story? Choose one, explain what it means, and explain how it relates to
the story. Choose some elements or details (for example, you can choose examples from the plot,
characters, conflicts, or settings) that show what the theme of this story is.

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