Between Shades of Gray Test | Final Test - Hard

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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 Trofimovsk?

2. What is Lina going to be asked to do?

3. Where has the boat crossed when the prisoners start getting excited that they are going to America?

4. What does Mr. Lukas say is wrong with Jonas?

5. How does Lina's family get to their new destination?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Kretsky show his humanity after they have frightened the women?

2. What letter does Lina remember receiving once from Joana?

3. What does Lina steal and how does she explain it to Andrius?

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

5. Why does Elena collapse one day?

6. Why are the prisoners waked in the middle of the night and what do they do?

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

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

9. What do the prisoners learn about the Japanese and Hitler?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not? Does "Between Shades of Gray" have a happy ending? Discuss.

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "Between Shades of Gray" and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why "Between Shades of Gray" is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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