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 comfort does Robert offer Mary and Colin at the end of the chapter?

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

3. What is Robert's opinion of Italian feminists?

4. Why does Caroline have difficulty moving around the house?

5. Where does Robert sleep when his father is away?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How are Mary and Colin's views on feminism demonstrated through their reactions to a poster hanging on the wall of a Venice building?

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

5. Describe Robert's first meeting with Caroline.

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

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

8. Describe the setting around the tourist attraction clock tower.

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

10. How does Robert's father react to him soiling his study? How does this make Robert feel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The gallery in Robert's apartment plays an important role in the novel. It serves as a symbol on many levels. Discuss the significance of the gallery in the novel. Cite several specific examples 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

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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