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. How do Robert's sisters attempt to embarrass him in front of Caroline?

2. Who watches Mary as she walks through Robert's gallery?

3. What do Robert's sisters tell him he must have before eating sweets?

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

5. What condition does Caroline require Mary and Colin to meet in order to get their clothes back?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Describe Robert's first meeting with Caroline.

7. How does the author initially describe Robert?

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

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

10. How does Mary react to Colin when he wears the dressing gown? How is this different from his own reaction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The past is essential to Robert's development as a character. Discuss at least three events/people from the past that influenced Robert's character. Focus on describing the event as well as discussing how the event determined the person Robert becomes. Be sure to cite specific details from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

The sexual brutality in this novel is shocking and disturbing to readers. In your essay discuss the significance of McEwan's choice to include it in the story. What does sexual brutality bring to the story? Why is it important? Why do you think McEwan chose to include it in the story line?

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the men and women in this novel. How are the female characters similar/different? How are the male characters similar/different? Then discuss why you think the author presents this variety of male and female characters in the novel. Be sure to cite specific evidence from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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