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. How does Mary characterize her relationship with Colin as she describes it to Caroline?

2. What ritual did Robert's family perform each evening when he was growing up?

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

4. Why does Colin wear a woman's dressing gown when he awakens?

5. What question does Robert ask Mary and Colin when he first meets them?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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 3

Read the two inscriptions at the beginning of the novel.

Discuss the significance of these quote in reference to the novel. How do they fit (or not fit) the novel? Why do you think Ian McEwan chose these quotes? How do they work together to demonstrate the themes of the novel?

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

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,012 words
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