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 is Ona like when she undresses?

2. What does Elena give the bald man?

3. About what does Miss Grybas explain as the train continues south?

4. What are they told when the truck stops?

5. How does the bald man feel about the news about Germany?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Where do the prisoners arrive and where is Lina's family assigned?

3. What does Lina notice as the train is pulling away from the station?

4. What happens in Vilnius?

5. Before the train leaves, does Andrius do and who goes with him?

6. Where does the truck go after Lina's family is on it and why does it go there?

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

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

9. What does Lina's father say to Lina?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think "Between Shades of Gray" is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of "Between Shades of Gray", identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in "Between Shades of Gray". (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Looking back on the fact that Kretsky had helped her out of the hole when Lina believed she was about to be killed and looking forward to Kretsky's later actions, it seems more likely that Kretsky realized Lina was in danger from the other two soldiers. Lina is fifteen and is probably an attractive young woman, despite the hardships she's faced. Rape is likely very common and it seems that Kretsky was probably anxious to take the soldier's minds off Lina as an attractive young woman. Though she doesn't see it, Kretsky hates his role in the situation. Discuss the following:

1. What would happen if Kretsky spoke out even more strongly through his actions and words, about the way prisoners are treated?

2. Does Kretsky have a choice in his role in the prisoners lives?

3. Is the threat of death (assuming Kretsy would be killed if he disobeys and order or speaks out against the abuse of prisoners) a valid reason for continuing in a position of abuse?

4. Is Kretsky's small ways of trying to make it up to the prisoners redemptive for Kretsky?

(see the answer keys)

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