Between Shades of Gray Test | Final 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 does Janina tell the bald man?

2. What does Lina steal?

3. What have Andrius and his mother decided to do?

4. What does the bald man reveal?

5. What is Alexandras Lukas' job?

Short Essay Questions

1. What news does Mrs. Rimas recieve in a letter and how is it coded?

2. What do the prisoners have to do immediately when they arrive at Trofimovsk?

3. Describe the encounter between Kretsky and Lina at the wood pile.

4. What event makes Lina and Elena decide to stop asking for extra food for Jonas?

5. Why do the soldiers pay no attention as the prisoners strip for a shower?

6. How do the soldiers harass and frighten the women who have been digging a large hole?

7. How does Andrius and a Siberian woman help save Jonas' life?

8. Why does Elena collapse one day?

9. What is the story behind the stone that Jonas gives Andrius?

10. How does Elena and Jonas praise Andrius and what is Lina's feeling about the praise?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Ruta Sepetys.

2. What in Sepetys's background may have helped her in writing "Between Shades of Gray"? What may have influenced the way she depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

At one point, Lina expresses her hatred for Kretsky and her mother's reaction is immediate and painful. She grabs Lina by the arm and tells her to stop judging him. Elena says that Kretsky is "just a boy," and that no one knows what he's going through. The doctor who insists the soldiers take care of Lina and the others is able to make the demands because the soldiers are dependent on him to give the camp his approval. He makes it clear he won't do that unless they abide by his demands. Kretsky was likely punished or even killed for having alerted the doctor to the situation. His fate is not revealed. Discuss the following:

1. Is Elena's ability to not judge a matter of wisdom acquired with age, or do you think she is naturally a compassionate human being? Do you think Lina learns the lesson her mother offers about not being judgmental?

2. Does any person have the right to judge another? How does one know all the details of the other person's life enough to judge that person? Relate your answer to incidents in Between Shades of Gray.

3. There is a quote from the Christian texts that says, "Judge not lest you be judged yourself." Discuss what you think that may mean.

(see the answer keys)

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