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

2. Where does Caroline spend most of her time when in the house?

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

4. Which of the following best describes the ritual Mary and Colin both go through each evening before leaving for dinner?

5. Where is Robert's wife originally from?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does the author initially describe Robert?

5. What does Robert offer Mary and Colin at the end of the chapter? How do they react? How does Robert counteract?

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

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

8. What is the significance of the smell of cologne for Robert? Why?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

One of the themes The Comfort of Strangers explores is loss and confusion. Discuss what the novel has to say about this theme. Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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