Reading in the Dark Test | Final 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's mother tell him to put in the fire?

2. From whom does the boy's mother warn him to stay away in Chapter 6?

3. What event is introduced at the local community hall?

4. What eventually happens to Danno?

5. Which character dies in 1959?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. What does Father Nugent talk to the boy narrator about and why does it make him uncomfortable?

3. Why does the boy's evening with Irene prove to be a disappointment?

4. The boy's mother is saddened throughout the entire novel, but why does her depression set in after her grandfather dies?

5. How does the boy conclude that it was his mother who tipped off McIlhenny?

6. Why does the boy's mother turn hostile toward him in Chapter 6?

7. What is the boy punished for by the Dean and what is his punishment?

8. What does the boy mean when he says he has become the "plague himself" by wanting to know what had "plagued her"?

9. What does the boy believe about his loyalties to his parents as he sets off to college?

10. What causes the boy to realize his mother doesn't care what he reveals to anyone?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Does the boy narrator experience any form of catharsis in the novel? If so, what level of catharsis does he attain? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast Aunt Katie and the boy's mother.

1.) Why does the boy's mother react negatively toward Katie?

2.) Compare and contrast the women's behavior toward the boy narrator.

3.) Ultimately, they both experience the loss of the same man. How does it affect each of them?

(see the answer keys)

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