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. What does Colin find unusual about Caroline?

2. What does Colin do for a living?

3. What does Robert say he and Caroline have been doing since they last saw Colin and Mary?

4. What Italian custom does Robert engage in while walking through the street with Colin?

5. What does Mary do as she sits with Colin's body?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Mary find in Robert and Caroline's bedroom? What is the source of this?

4. What do Robert and Caroline initially do to Colin? How does he prevent this?

5. Describe the two times that Mary and Colin discuss Robert's photograph of Colin in this chapter. How are they different?

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

7. How do the police react to Mary's statement about Colin's murder? Why?

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

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

10. Why doesn't Mary respond much to Caroline's stories? What is likely the source of her silence?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the two main settings of the novel: Robert and Caroline's apartment and Mary and Colin's hotel room. Focus on:

1) the characteristics of the settings

2) the influence that the setting asserts on the plot of the novel

3) the ways that the setting reflects the characters "living" in it.

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

Essay Topic 2

The human body plays an important role in this novel. Discuss several situations where the body is central to the plot of the story. Focus on what the human body is serving as a symbol of at that point in the novel. Be sure to cite specific details from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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