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 the boy's parents suggest he should have done instead of involving Sergeant Burke when he was being bullied?

2. What causes the boy to have nightmares?

3. In Chapter 1, why doesn't the boy's mother want him to cross by the window at the top of the stairs?

4. In what year does the novel begin?

5. In Chapter 2, at what time does the grandfather clock strike before it stops for good?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the narrator.

2. Describe the boy's relationship with his mother.

3. Describe Grianan.

4. Why does the boy try to run away in Chapter 3?

5. What local belief surrounds the Field of the Disappeared?

6. What happens to Frances and Francis?

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

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

9. How are superstitions introduced in Chapter 1?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the boy's mother and father.

1.) How are they different in their treatments of the boy? How are they same?

2.) What parts of the family secret does each of them know?

3.) How do their behaviors change over the course of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

How does the historical context of Northern Ireland affect the story itself? How does it affect the characters and the mystery of Eddie's death? Why is it important to know the historical context to fully understand the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Which characters in the novel would be considered guides for the boy narrator? What do they teach him? Are they positive or negative mentors?

(see the answer keys)

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