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. How does the boy's father die?

2. When the boy encounters Crazy Joe in Chapter 5, what does Crazy Joe ask him to do?

3. To whom does the baby sock belong?

4. Who is Charlie McCabe?

5. When Sergeant Burke comes to talk to the boy's mother, what does he reveal as his reason for beating her husband?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the boy's mother say that upsets Katie?

3. What does Crazy Joe know about the mystery surrounding Eddie's death?

4. 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?

5. What does Sergeant Burke reveal about Eddie's death and Tony's involvement?

6. How does his mother's inability to speak because of her stroke affect her relationship with the boy?

7. Why does the boy narrator find it important to his relationship with his mother that he keep her secret?

8. Who is Danno Bredin?

9. Why does the boy's mother begin to treat him unkindly?

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

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

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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