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. What position did Robert's father hold in London?

2. Where are Mary and Colin vacationing?

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

4. Which of the following is NOT a type of map offered in the kiosks around Venice?

5. Where do Mary and Colin awaken at the beginning of Chapter 5?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the significance of the smell of cologne for Robert? Why?

2. Why does Caroline lock Mary and Colin's clothes in a cabinet?

3. Describe Colin and Mary's nightly ritual (in the hotel room) before leaving for dinner

4. Who do Mary and Colin notice outside of the street side cafe? How is he the same? How is he different?

5. What is unusual about Robert's interactions with Mary and Colin in this chapter?

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

7. Where does Robert take Mary and Colin to eat? Describe this setting.

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

9. How is Mary's reaction to Robert different from Colin's?

10. What does Mary tell Colin she dreams about during their daily naps?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Marriage plays an interesting role in this novel. Write an essay:

1) describing the ways marriage is portrayed in the novel

2) examining the significance of marriage in the plot and character development

3) arguing what you believe the author is trying to say about marriage through the novel.

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

Essay Topic 2

Read the two inscriptions at the beginning of the novel.

Discuss the significance of these quote in reference to the novel. How do they fit (or not fit) the novel? Why do you think Ian McEwan chose these quotes? How do they work together to demonstrate the themes of the novel?

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

Essay Topic 3

Despite the warning signs Mary and Colin are given about Robert and Caroline's motives, the couple still remains in their company. In your essay:

1) describe at least two "warnings" that should have drawn Mary and Colin's attention to the danger they were about to encounter

2) discuss how Mary and Colin choose to react instead

3) discuss what you think (as a reader) motivates the couple to ignore these signs.

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

(see the answer keys)

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