Reading in the Dark Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

If you were the boy narrator, would you have kept the information you found out about Eddie's death a secret? The boy narrator does not reveal to his mother what he knows; would you have done the same? What might have changed if the boy had told his mother what he knew?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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