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. What opportunity opens up for Papi?

2. To what does Helmut devote one photo from each roll of film?

3. Where is Helmut born?

4. Who helps Helmut when he is confronted at the train station?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. When the family eats their soup, Juri shyly offers his bread to Tomas. What does this indicate about Juri and his family?

3. Lore asks the woman for more food for her siblings but the woman initially responds with a look of possible fear. Why might the woman be afraid?

4. Mutti tries to burn the badges but they do not burn all the way. Lore tries to throw them deep into the river, but buries them in the bushes when this does not work. What do the badges and the efforts to rid them symbolize?

5. Although Seiffert does not say much about the farmers, what are the implied feelings of the farmers?

6. When Germany takes Paris, there is a large celebration. Mutti and Papi attend but they do not ask him to go. When they return they meet him at the train station and leave looking like a happy family. Explain Mutti and Papi's actions.

7. Germany is in the midst of war and has been for several years. The second bombing that Helmut experiences is the worst so far. Describe the new changes and routine to which the inhabitants of Berlin must adapt.

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. During one of Helmut's walks around the city, he encounters the SS collecting and trucking the gypsies away. What is Helmut's reaction to this event?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel touches upon lots of judgments and racism. Compare and contrast generational differences to these issues. How do the Omas feel? How do children of the veterans feel? Grandchildren?

Essay Topic 2

Seiffert gives a unique perspective of WWII. The thought that goes through a soldier's mind, like Jozef, is different from those who experience the consequence from home, like Helmut. Interview a veteran who fought in combat. If an interview is not possible, find a first person account. What is the veteran's psyche during the war? How does the war change the veteran's ability to live amongst civilians? Now interview a civilian who survived a war. What is their psyche like during the war? After the war? Compare and contrast the psyches of the veteran and the civilian.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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