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 Robert do at the beginning of this chapter to mark the change in his relationship with Mary and Colin?

2. Why does Mary awaken with a shout early one morning?

3. What is the main topic of conversation while Robert, Caroline, Mary and Colin dine together?

4. What does Mary see as "the most powerful single principle of organization shaping institutions and individual lives"?

5. What does Mary discover when Caroline takes her into her bedroom?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Robert ultimately do to Colin? Why does Colin consent to this?

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

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

7. Describe the scene in the ocean involving Mary and Colin.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

One of the themes The Comfort of Strangers explores is sexuality. 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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