An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943 Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Etty Hillesum
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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. This is the word used by the Germans to refer to the process by which large numbers of Jews were captured from their homes and off the streets and then put into ghettos or camps.

2. Hillesum first meets Julius Spier, who is sometimes simply referred to as __________ in the diary.

3. Spier's specialty is commonly known as what?

4. Around this time, Etty addresses the question of __________, specifically talking about the Germans.

5. Etty's relationship with her father is somewhat __________.

Short Essay Questions

1. When did the author first begin writing this diary? Describe her at this time.

2. What problem does Etty experience? Why? How does this lead to a discussion of Etty's family?

3. What does Etty reveal about Spier? How does Etty, at this point, feel about Spier?

4. How does Etty's feelings towards her family begin to change?

5. Over what does Etty want to gain control? What does she resolve to do every day?

6. By April 2, 1942, how does Etty feel about Spier?

7. What does Etty do to become closer to God?

8. What becomes more of a presence? How does this affect Etty?

9. How is Etty's eating disorder symbolic?

10. Of what does Etty admit she is guilty? How does this then lead to a spiritual discussion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Etty begins this diary for two reasons.

Part 1) What are these two reasons? What do these two reasons reveal about her? How do these two reasons prepare the reader for her diary?

Part 2) How are these two reasons important throughout the diary? Are other purposes discovered as she creates this diary? Why or why not?

Part 3) If you were to write a diary, what would be your purpose? Why? How could keeping a diary be useful for you and others?

Essay Topic 2

Etty voluntarily goes to Westerbork.

Part 1) What is Westerbork? Describe Westerbork. Why does Etty go here voluntarily? What does this reveal or reinforce about her?

Part 2) Should Etty have volunteered to do this? Why or why not? How does this affect her life? How different might it have been if she had reacted to the German occupation in another way?

Part 3) What can you, as the reader, learn about the German occupation and World War II from Etty's experience at Westerbork?

Essay Topic 3

Etty does not return hate for hate.

Part 1) Give an example from the book that illustrates this. How does this belief regarding others compare to the beliefs of other Jews? Explain.

Part 2) Why does Etty decide to not hate or act hateful? Does she benefit from this? Why or why not? How does this decision to love all life and have a positive attitude affect you as a reader?

Part 3) Who in our own history has acted peacefully in the face of hatred and fear? Why? How has this person affected and influenced our culture today?

(see the answer keys)

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