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. In October of 1952, where is the boy sent to live?

2. After his parents die, Eddie leaves. Where does everyone think he went?

3. Who tells the boy about the murder of 1921?

4. In Chapter 1, what causes the boy's mother to become inconsolable?

5. What is going to be built across the river?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What strong religious beliefs of his community does the boy share in the beginning of Chapter 1?

5. The theme of disappearance is further discussed in Chapter 2. Explain.

6. 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?

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

8. How are superstitions introduced in Chapter 1?

9. Describe the events surrounding the distillery and what happens to it.

10. Describe Crazy Joe.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the significance of silence in the novel.

1.) How and why does Larry McLaughlin stop talking? How does it affect the family secret?

2.) How and why does Brigid stop talking? What does this reflect on Larry's own silence?

3.) How and why does the boy's mother stop talking? How does this affect her inner turmoil?

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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