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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. How does Helmut consistently obtain food?
2. What do patrons at the shop give instead of money for food?
3. How does Helmut gain friends as a child?
4. What is constantly on Helmut's mind that reminds him that he is a disappointment?
5. Who knocks on Helmut's door when the second bombing occurs?
Short Essay Questions
1. Helmut is not strong or smart. Yet, there are indications that Helmut is clever about getting what he wants. Give an example of how Helmut shows his clever ways.
2. 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?
3. 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?
4. The new train station guard does not like Helmut immediately. Only after knowing Helmut's current situation, does he help Helmut. Why does the train station guard act this way? What does that say about the bombings in Berlin?
5. 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.
6. 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?
7. Why is Lore's family moving around and hiding in the farm valley? From whom are they hiding?
8. 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?
9. In the short amount of time Micha spends in Belarus on his first visit, he receives various receptions of his German background. Compare and contrast Andrej's and his mother's reception of Micha to the grandfather at the museum's.
10. Oma explains to Lore that Vati and Mutti are good people despite their involvement. Explain Oma's situation and where she stands regarding Mutti and Vati.
Essay Topic 1
Seiffert writes over many generations in the novel. World War II ended in 1945 yet Micha is affected in the late 1990s when he learns about his Opa. Write about how history affects the present. This paper may take one of two paths, politically or personally. Choose only one avenue.
Essay Topic 2
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 3
The truth can be an ugly thing. Whether the truth is fresh or many years past, some will deny it and some will accept it. Write about how the characters either search for the truth or deny it. What are the consequences of each?
This section contains 2,231 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)