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. Why does the boy ride home with Sergeant Burke in the police car?

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

3. What do people believe lay below the ruins of Grianan?

4. Who is hired to look after the two children, Francis and Frances?

5. Where does the boy's father work?

Short Essay Questions

1. What causes the rat infestation mentioned in Chapter 3?

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. How are superstitions introduced in Chapter 1?

9. When the boy's father takes him and his brother Liam out on the boat, what does his father reveal to them and why does it make the boy feel uncomfortable?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

There are several symbols discussed in the novel. Discuss the use and meaning of disappearance, death, fire, and tradition.

(see the answer keys)

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