Reading in the Dark 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. From where does the title of the novel get its name?

2. How do the boy's father's parents die?

3. Where does the boy's father work?

4. What novel is the first book the boy has ever read?

5. What color is the light above the graves of Francis and Frances' parents?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the motif of fire used in Chapter 3?

2. What memory does the boy have of an interaction between him and Crazy Joe?

3. What happens to Frances and Francis?

4. Describe the narrator.

5. What happens to Larry McLaughlin?

6. How do we see the boy react and respond to his circumstances in Chapter 1 instead of accepting them at face value?

7. Why does the boy throw a rock at Sergeant Burke's police car?

8. Describe Grianan.

9. How are superstitions introduced in Chapter 1?

10. How is the boy's father's life seen as very difficult and sad?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the theme of secrets within the text. What kind of impact does secret-keeping have on the characters of the novel? How does it affect the plot as it progresses? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Would it have been better if the mystery of Eddie's death was revealed earlier in the novel? How does the slowly unfolding mystery add to the boy narrator's character development? How does it shape him to become the man he grows up to be?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the significance of silence in the novel.

1.) How and why does Larry McLaughlin stop talking? How does it affect the family secret?

2.) How and why does Brigid stop talking? What does this reflect on Larry's own silence?

3.) How and why does the boy's mother stop talking? How does this affect her inner turmoil?

(see the answer keys)

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