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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. In what year does the novel conclude?
2. Which character dies in 1959?
3. How does Jimmy die?
4. Who is Danno Bredin?
5. Who also visits the boy's parents as he is there in Chapter 6?
Short Essay Questions
1. Why does Katie's family refuse to attend Meave's wedding?
2. Why is the boy again upset with his mother at the end of Chapter 5?
3. The boy's mother is saddened throughout the entire novel, but why does her depression set in after her grandfather dies?
4. What does Father Nugent talk to the boy narrator about and why does it make him uncomfortable?
5. What does Sergeant Burke reveal about Eddie's death and Tony's involvement?
6. What happens to Jimmy and Claire?
7. 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?
8. What is important about the boy's reading of the story of Eddie's death in Irish?
9. What scripture passages does the boy enjoy reading, but why do they trouble him?
10. What is Sergeant Burke's purpose for going to the boy's mother and revealing all that he knows of Eddie's death?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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?
Essay Topic 2
Which parts of the story and characters of the novel do you identify with? Why?
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?
This section contains 726 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)