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. Even before reaching Westerbork, Etty Hillesum's ___________ emerges as something independent and infinitely more powerful than her physical self.

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

3. Hillesum is ___________; someone who is actively involved in examining the world and her perceptions thereof from the inside out rather than the other way around.

4. Etty Hillesum was determined to grow ________________.

5. Hillesum refers to a feeling of ______________ toward men as something worthy of resolution.

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the men for whom Etty has feelings.

2. What does Etty say about the topic of hatred?

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

4. How is Etty's eating disorder symbolic?

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

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

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

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

9. How does Etty feel about men? How does she explain this?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Etty's relationships with men are not very intimate.

Part 1) Describe her relationships. What in her life might have influenced these relationships with men? What can be learned about Etty from these relationships?

Part 2) How do these relationships compare to other relationships? What are possible reasons for these differences? How important are her relationships with others throughout her life? Explain.

Part 3) What relationships are important in your life? Why? How do these relationships affect and influence you?

Essay Topic 2

Etty's relationship with Julius Spier deepens.

Part 1) Who is Julius Spier? Describe him and his relationship with Etty. How does their relationship change over time? Why does it change?

Part 2) What can be learned about Etty through this relationship? How does this relationship compare to her relationship with Han?

Part 3) What ends their relationship? How does she come to realize their relationship would turn out as she thought? How does the war affect her relationship? Could this relationship have succeeded? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Etty and her family are transported to Auschwitz.

Part 1) What leads to them being transported to this concentration camp? How is this foreshadowed earlier in the book? How did Etty feel when her family joined her in Westerbork and then in Auschwitz? Why did she feel this way?

Part 2) Why might they have all been sent to Auschwitz? Is there anything that could have been done to prevent this? How does this lead to the end of the story? How does this affect you as the reader?

Part 3) How does Etty's attitude throughout this book help Etty prepare for this tragedy? What can we learn from Etty and her attitude throughout this book?

(see the answer keys)

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