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 is distinct about Larry McLaughlin's character?

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

3. How do the boy's father's parents die?

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

5. Who is the heroine of the novel the boy reads in the dark?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the boy narrator fond of Aunt Katie?

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

3. Who is Tony and what happened to him?

4. Why does Sergeant Burke say he beat up Frank and why does he apologize for it?

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

6. What does the boy recall about "unconditional love"?

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

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

9. What does the boy believe about his loyalties to his parents as he sets off to college?

10. How is the boy's mother's interpretation of the story of Sean and the baby sock a reflection on her own relationship with Tony McIlhenny and her role in Eddie's murder?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

If this story had happened in America, how might it change? What details would be different? What historical events in America might have affected the story? How might the characters behave differently?

Essay Topic 3

Good vs. evil is an important theme in the novel. Show how three characters made the wrong decision in regards to Eddie's death and explain what they should have done differently.

(see the answer keys)

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