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 does the boy find in the wardrobe of his sister's bedroom?

2. What does Brother Regan teach the boys at the school in December of 1948?

3. According to the boy's father, how long has the boy's mother known about Eddie?

4. Why is the boys' mother upset when they return from their boat ride across the river?

5. In what ways are the boys in the math class punished if they do not answer the questions correctly?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What happens to Larry McLaughlin?

3. What causes the rat infestation mentioned in Chapter 3?

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

5. How does the boy get rid of the rat problem?

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

7. What does the boy's grandfather tell him right before he dies?

8. What happens to Frances and Francis?

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

10. How are superstitions introduced in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Who do you think is ultimately responsible for Eddie's death?

1. Is it the hand that pulls the trigger or the hand that orchestrates it to happen?

2. Are multiple people to blame?

3. Is one person more guilty than another?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the boy's mother and father.

1.) How are they different in their treatments of the boy? How are they same?

2.) What parts of the family secret does each of them know?

3.) How do their behaviors change over the course of the novel?

Essay Topic 3

What is the significance of disappearance and death as themes in the novel?

1. Are these themes important to keeping the secret a mystery to the boy?

2. How does the story of Eddie's death change for the boy as more people disappear or die?

3. How are the stories told by the characters (Sean, Francis, Frances, Brigid, Claire Falkener, Grenaghan, etc.) all related to this theme of death and disappearance?

(see the answer keys)

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