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. Who tells the boy's father about Eddie's killing?

2. What color is the light above the graves of Francis and Frances' parents?

3. In what year does the novel begin?

4. What happens to the distillery after the shootout?

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 disappearance of Uncle Eddie such a mystery?

2. Why doesn't the author ever reveal the narrator's first name?

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

4. Describe the narrator.

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

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

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

8. Why does the boy try to run away in Chapter 3?

9. Why is Una's death seen as an outlet for the boy's mother?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, the boy encounters and overcomes many difficult situations in order to piece together his family's history and to find out what happened to his uncle. The story is riddled with sadness, death, poor choices, and loss; how can this story be redeemed? Is there any hope in this story? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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