The Comfort of Strangers 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. Which of Caroline's character traits makes Robert fall in love with her?

2. Where do Mary and Colin meet Robert?

3. Where does Caroline say that Mary and Colin's clothes are?

4. How does Robert react when Mary asks him how he met his wife?

5. What does Colin say must happen before he and Mary decide if they will stay at Caroline and Robert's home for dinner?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the notebook Mary keeps as a thirteen-year-old. Why is her mind drawn to this memory while vacationing?

2. Describe the setting around the tourist attraction clock tower.

3. Describe the scene involving the older tourists that Colin observes from his balcony. How does the version of the story Colin tells Mary differ from the actual situation?

4. What does Robert offer Mary and Colin at the end of the chapter? How do they react? How does Robert counteract?

5. Why does Mary begin thinking of her children in this chapter? What does she wish she had done?

6. Describe the gallery in Robert and Caroline's apartment

7. Describe the display in the department store window that both Mary and Colin comment on.

8. Describe Robert's father (as Robert presents him in this chapter)

9. Describe the setting of the first chapter

10. How does Robert's father react to him soiling his study? How does this make Robert feel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

While Mary's children never appear in the novel, their influence is felt on the story. In your essay:

1) describe Mary's children and their life circumstances.

2) discuss at least two events where the children play a role in the scene

3) discuss the significance of the children in the scene. What do they represent?

Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout The Comfort of Strangers Ian McEwan foreshadows the tragic final event in the novel. Select three events in the novel that foreshadow this event. Discuss how these events act as foreshadowing and how their significance becomes evident when the final scene occurs.

Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

The Comfort of Strangers presents two very different visions of romantic relationships. In your essay, compare and contrast the two couples in the novel focusing on:

1) the dynamics of their relationship

2) their ideals about love

3) their ideals about relationships between men and women.

Be sure to cite specific evidence from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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