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

2. What concerns Colin when he walks to the edge of the ocean?

3. How does Colin initially react when Mary tells him what has frightened her?

4. What condition does Caroline tell Mary she must meet before she will disclose how she hurt her back?

5. What prevents Mary from saving Colin's life?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the process of Mary realizing that Colin was in the photograph at Robert's apartment

2. How do Mary and Colin's conversations compare to their lovemaking?

3. What is Mary's fantasy of "subjection and humiliation" for Colin? What is Colin's fantasy for Mary?

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

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

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

7. What does Colin confess to Mary as they are sitting on the beach? How does Mary react?

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

9. Describe Mary and Colin's routine for the days following their visit to Robert and Caroline's apartment.

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

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

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

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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