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 causes the priest to call off Larry McLaughlin's wedding?

2. What is distinct about Larry McLaughlin's character?

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

4. Why does the boy's father hit him in Chapter 3?

5. Why does the boy's mother lie to Katie about why the boy's father started drinking again?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Grianan.

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

3. Describe Crazy Joe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. 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?

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's mother deals repeatedly with depression as her role in Eddie's death is progressively revealed.

1. How is she involved in the mystery surrounding Eddie's disappearance?

2. How is her relationship with Tony McIlhenny a factor in her involvement?

3. Do you think she should feel guilty?

Support your answers with evidence from the text.

Essay Topic 3

How might the story progress differently if told through the voice of another character? How does the young boy add to the story's mystery? What might we know differently if one of his parents narrated the story instead?

(see the answer keys)

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