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 does the historical context of Northern Ireland affect the story itself? How does it affect the characters and the mystery of Eddie's death? Why is it important to know the historical context to fully understand the novel?

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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