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 does Robert do to encourage Mary and Colin to return to the bar?

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

3. What are Mary and Colin searching for in the morning?

4. What do Mary and Colin notice about Robert's appearance once they have been in the bar for some time?

5. Where are Mary and Colin vacationing?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Colin say in response to Robert's monologue on gender relations? How does Robert respond to Colin's comment?

2. What does Mary find in Robert and Caroline's bedroom? What is the source of this?

3. How does Mary's reaction to Robert's photograph differ from Colin's?

4. What does Colin confess to Mary as they are sitting on the beach? How does Mary react?

5. How do Mary and Caroline's views on theatre differ? How are they the same?

6. Why does Robert hold Colin's hand as they walk to the bar? What does he tell people about their relationship?

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

8. How do Mary and Colin's conversations compare to their lovemaking?

9. Describe the event that led Robert's sisters to despise him.

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The setting of The Comfort of Strangers strongly influences the plot of the novel. Discuss the role that the setting plays in this novel. Focus on how it influences the choices and actions of the characters. Be sure to cite specific evidence from the novel to support your ideas.

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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