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

3. What does Sergeant Burke suggest to the boy as he gives him a ride home?

4. In 1949, the police arrive at the boy's house in search of what?

5. From which part of the traditions of both Protestants and Catholics does the boy derive excitement?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the narrator.

2. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compare and contrast Aunt Katie and the boy's mother.

1.) Why does the boy's mother react negatively toward Katie?

2.) Compare and contrast the women's behavior toward the boy narrator.

3.) Ultimately, they both experience the loss of the same man. How does it affect each of them?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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