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. Why do Mary and Colin leave their hotel room after making love?

2. Why does Mary believe that the feminist posters suggest rapists should be castrated?

3. What does Caroline say will happen if Mary and Colin choose not to dine with her and Robert?

4. How does Robert react when he realizes Mary and Colin slept on the street the night before?

5. How long have Colin and Mary been together?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe Robert's first meeting with Caroline.

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

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

8. How does Caroline define being "in love" with someone? How does the definition of love differ for men and women according to Caroline?

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

10. How does Mary and Colin's relationship with the hotel maid change over the course of their vacation?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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