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 topic most often consumes Mary's dreams while on vacation?

2. Where do Mary and Colin spend the night in this chapter?

3. What does Mary recall provided her with comfort when she was a teenager?

4. Why does Robert's father beat him for three nights in a row?

5. What do Mary and Colin discover after they make love one evening?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Mary and Colin looking for as they journey through the city? Why?

2. What information about the bar does Caroline share with Mary? How does Mary react?

3. How does the author initially describe Robert?

4. Describe Robert's first meeting with Caroline.

5. 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?

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

7. What does Mary notice about Colin's body as he lays sleeping in Robert and Caroline's apartment?

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

9. What do Robert's sisters feed him one afternoon? Why?

10. Describe Mary and Colin's experience outside of the hospital.

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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