The Dark Room Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Rachel Seiffert
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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. Who is Lore's family hiding from when they go into hiding?

2. What does Lore have to give up to get more food and shelter for a night?

3. How are Helmut's winters described?

4. What disagreement occurs between Gladigau and Helmut?

5. Who are Gladigau's most common clients?

Short Essay Questions

1. Mutti and Papi love their son, but there is a stubborn denial that there is anything wrong with Helmut. What does it finally take them to accept the truth and how do they handle it?

2. As part of Papi's pay, Gladigau takes family portraits while Helmut grows up. How do the family portraits play a role in this story and what progression is observed from when Helmut is a newborn to the last individual photo?

3. Gladigau is first Papi's, then Helmut's employer. Gladigau does more than just pay his workers. How is Gladigau an important figure, especially to Helmut?

4. The Third Reich is at its height when Helmut is a teenager. How does this age and Helmut's life affect his acceptance and loyalty to the Third Reich?

5. Helmut finally gets to join the army. What does this imply about the state of Germany at this point in the war?

6. When Lore is sure Tomas is asleep, she buries the last remaining keepsakes of Vati. Why does she do this when they seemed safe in her apron?

7. Other than Lore, what do the children know of the current situation?

8. At the beginning of the war efforts, Helmut is intent on joining the army. Despite his arm, he is adamant about joining. Why is the army so vital in Helmut's life?

9. Tomas helps Lore and her family out of trouble and follows them. Why? What does he gain from the situation? Is he just being nice?

10. Helmut is cast to the side with the weak during physical education. Helmut tries to "prove himself" for whom and why?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Summarize Tomas character and discuss the significance of his role in the novel. Why does Seiffert write him as a thief who steals from a dead Jew? What does this signify about the war, post-war, to Lore?

Essay Topic 2

Helmut listens to the radio for Germany's progress. At the same time, he notices an emptying of Berlin. The two are correlated, but it is a mystery to Helmut. What is the correlation and what makes it difficult for Helmut to see how the victories abroad are tied to the city's emptiness?

Essay Topic 3

Lore and her siblings are children during WWII but are affected by its aftermath. Discuss where the children are coming from as Nazi children. What tribulations do they go through as Nazi children? How responsible are they for their affiliation? How are they punished even if they do not live in camps?

(see the answer keys)

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