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. What moment became the most important moment?

2. Esther ("Etty") Hillesum began writing a dairy in early __________ of 1941.

3. By September of 1941, it becomes clear from her diary entries that Etty Hillesum has begun to change _________________.

4. What eventually leads Hillesum down the path of physical isolation and often results in illness of one sort or another?

5. Etty returns to a sincere desire to pay more attention to her inner life as a way of bringing about what?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Etty begin to change significantly and radically?

2. Describe the men for whom Etty has feelings.

3. Why did Etty begin this diary?

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

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

6. What is Etty's opinion of marriage for herself? Why might she feel this way?

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

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

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

10. What is happening to the Jews by June of 1941?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Etty's motivations become increasingly altruistic.

Part 1) How do Etty's motivations become increasingly altruistic? Why do they grow more altruistic? What does this reveal about her?

Part 2) What external motivation does Etty receive for being altruistic? How does this compare to her internal motivation? Which are more important? Why?

Part 3) When have you acted altruistically? Why did you act this way? How did this affect you?

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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