The Comfort of Strangers Test | Final 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. Where did Mary work for many years?

2. What does Colin believe is wrong with Mary when she awakens frightened?

3. Why does Caroline suddenly become still as soon as she begins laughing?

4. Why do Mary and Colin think their newfound passion is especially profound?

5. Why does Mary fall asleep in Caroline and Robert's apartment?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do Mary and Colin leave late for the beach? What is the motivation behind their change of plans?

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

4. What does Caroline request of Colin? Why?

5. Why do Mary and Colin depart the riverboat early? How does their ultimate destination differ from their intended destination?

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

7. What does Mary intend to do when she goes to the morgue? What does she do instead?

8. Describe the scene between Robert and Mary at the bookcase.

9. What does Mary discover in the apartment when she awakens?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

While Mary's children never appear in the novel, their influence is felt on the story. In your essay:

1) describe Mary's children and their life circumstances.

2) discuss at least two events where the children play a role in the scene

3) discuss the significance of the children in the scene. What do they represent?

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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