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. Which of the following is NOT a unique characteristic of the bar Robert takes Mary and Colin to?

2. What does Mary notice is different about Robert from the night before?

3. In Robert's opinion, what about the English language makes it beautiful?

4. How does the waiter react when Mary and Colin order water and coffee?

5. What does Mary note about the water in Venice?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Robert, how do the roles of men and women differ now from the time when his father was alive?

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

3. Describe Colin and Mary's nightly ritual (in the hotel room) before leaving for dinner

4. Describe the interactions between Mary and Colin while they ride the river taxi. How are these different than their earlier encounters?

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

6. Describe the setting of the first chapter

7. How does Colin's experience with Robert at the bar compare to Mary's experience with Caroline in the apartment?

8. Describe the scene when Mary awakens with a shout in the middle of the night.

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

10. What happens to Caroline the first time she attempts to leave the apartment after her back is broken? What factors prevent her from returning to the apartment?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the novel Mary and Colin's relationship changes significantly. In your essay:

1) describe their relationship at the beginning of the novel.

2) describe their relationship at the end of the novel

3) discuss the changes that occur in their relationship

4) discuss what influences these changes.

Be sure to cite specific evidence from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout The Comfort of Strangers the author explores what it means to be a stranger. Discuss how characters in this novel are strangers focusing on what makes them strangers. Then discuss the author's view of the stranger. Is it better to be a stranger or to not be a stranger, according to McEwan? Why?

Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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