Between Shades of Gray Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ruta Sepetys
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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 happens one day when the train comes to a stop?

2. What is in one corner of the hut?

3. What is obvious about Andrius when he gets back to their railroad car?

4. How many people are left at the opening to Chapter 25?

5. What does Ona do when they are loaded back on the trucks?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Lina, Elena and Mrs. Rimas relieve the stress of the camp?

2. Describe the arrest of Lina's family.

3. What does the bald man say about Hitler, and what does Lina think about it?

4. What does Lina realize about her father's words about drawing?

5. What does Lina tell a gray-haired man about her drawing?

6. What do Lina and Elena do on their first day?

7. Why does Elena rush her children and what is the mood when they get back on the truck?

8. How often does the train stop and for what reason?

9. What are Elena, Lina and Jonas forced to do?

10. What happens one day when it is Lina's turn to take the buckets for the food and water?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an important part of what makes "Between Shades of Gray" interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Lina. What are her strengths? Weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she always likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Kretsky. What are his strengths? Weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Elena. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in "Between Shades of Gray". Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Sepetys chooses the symbols she does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Sepetys chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Sepetys's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliff hangers, deux ex machina, etc.), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Sepetys use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

Essay Topic 3

The fact that the priest is issuing last rites as the train pulls away from the station is a significant indication that others know what's happening to those on the train. This is another question that's asked repeatedly about the atrocities performed by Stalin and Hitler. Why didn't people object? There isn't an easy answer and this question, like the question of why so many went quietly to their deaths, is left to the reader to decide. Discuss the following;

1. How much power does an individual have to end atrocities such as that demonstrated in "Between Shades of Gray"?

2. What characters intervene in the misuse of power and how do they do so? What is the outcome?

3. Do individuals have a moral obligation to try to stop the misuse of power? What about in small ways, such as dealing with a bully?

4. Compare the misuse of power by a dictator to that by a school bully. How are they alike? Different? Is it likely a dictator was a bully as a young person?

(see the answer keys)

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