Journey Into the Whirlwind Test | Mid-Book 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 eventually happens to Sagidullin?

2. Where is Ginzburg taken?

3. Why does Pitkovskaya condemn her husband?

4. What does Tsarevsky say about Elvov?

5. What is Ginzburg told about her husband?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Professor Elvov and how does he have bearing on Ginzburg's life?

2. What does a friendly soldier tell Ginzburg on her way back to Butyrki after her trial?

3. What happens on February 7, 1937, and why is one of Ginzburg's former students in particular agony about it?

4. Describe Captain Vevers' behavior to Ginzburg.

5. Who summons Ginzburg after Elvov's arrest; what do they want with her, and how does she respond?

6. Where is Ginzburg taken and what does she remember after seeing the place?

7. How is Ginzburg's situation changed on Red Army Day?

8. Who is Ginzburg's first cellmate at Black Lake?

9. Describe the interrogation of Ginzburg by Livanov.

10. How do the prisoners communicate in Krasin, and what disturbing piece of news does Ginzburg receive in one such communication?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think Journey Into the Whirlwind is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

Readers learn that Kirov's assassin was a Communist. This fills Ginzburg with a sense of foreboding. It also demonstrates that the government does not have complete control over its citizens, because the assassin is a Communist. It a Communist assassinates another Communist, it further implies that there is no such thing as a loyal Communist any longer. Since a Communist has assassinated another Communist, the government is now weeding through Party members to determine loyalty.

1. Discuss the idea that if a communist kills a communist official that means that there could be other communists who are not loyal to the government. Use examples from Journey Into the Whirlwind and your own life to support your response.

2. Discuss what you think about the way Stalin responded to Kirov's death. Use examples from Journey Into the Whirlwind and your own life to support your response.

3. Discuss why the statement: it further implies that there is no such thing as a loyal Communist any longer, is an example of black and white, absolute type thinking. Use examples from Journey Into the Whirlwind and your own life to support your response.

Essay Topic 3

The train ride is especially telling of the life that the women are about to be plunged into. It also reveals a host of ideas and differences among the women with respect to Communism, Stalin, and themselves. A few fanatical women believe Stalin is innocent of the evil of his subordinates; others have come to hate the entire system. But just as their political differences threaten to pull them apart, they decide to band together and look out for each other as best they can.

1. Discuss the reasons some women might still hold to the idea that Stalin himself was not personally responsible for what was going on. Use examples from Journey Into the Whirlwind and your own life to support your response.

2. What do you think can happen to a system of government if a majority of its citizens begin to hate the system? Use examples from Journey Into the Whirlwind and your own life to support your response.

3. How do you think the women were able to set aside political differences to help each other and what does that imply for other groups of people in the world? Use examples from Journey Into the Whirlwind and your own life to support your response.

(see the answer keys)

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