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. What do Frances and Francis do every day?

2. Where does the boy tell his father in Chapter 2 that he would like to go?

3. According to the local belief his father told the boy, who gathers at the Field of the Disappeared at Christmas and other festivals?

4. Where does the boy's father work?

5. Who is Ena?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the boy uncomfortable with the sympathy he feels for the police after Rory Hannaway's death?

2. How are superstitions introduced in Chapter 1?

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

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

5. How is the theme of disappearance used in Chapter 1?

6. Why is Una's death seen as an outlet for the boy's mother?

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

8. Why is the disappearance of Uncle Eddie such a mystery?

9. Why doesn't the author ever reveal the narrator's first name?

10. How can we see in Chapter 2 that the belief in the supernatural is a powerful force in Northern Ireland during this time?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

If you were the boy narrator, would you have kept the information you found out about Eddie's death a secret? The boy narrator does not reveal to his mother what he knows; would you have done the same? What might have changed if the boy had told his mother what he knew?

Essay Topic 2

What is the significance of disappearance and death as themes in the novel?

1. Are these themes important to keeping the secret a mystery to the boy?

2. How does the story of Eddie's death change for the boy as more people disappear or die?

3. How are the stories told by the characters (Sean, Francis, Frances, Brigid, Claire Falkener, Grenaghan, etc.) all related to this theme of death and disappearance?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, the boy encounters and overcomes many difficult situations in order to piece together his family's history and to find out what happened to his uncle. The story is riddled with sadness, death, poor choices, and loss; how can this story be redeemed? Is there any hope in this story? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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