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 do families feel towards Helmut before the bombing?

2. What attracts Lore to a particular tree?

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

4. How is Helmut's family best described in the photo at the ice cream shop?

5. What do patrons at the shop give instead of money for food?

Short Essay Questions

1. On the first day of their trip to Oma's, Juri twists an ankle. How does this foreshadow the rest of the journey?

2. Helmut loses his parents and Gladigau is away. Helmut is often cold, hungry, and completely alone. How does he feel about the war at this stage?

3. Describe Lore's role in the family.

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

5. Helmut catalogues Berlin through his snapshots. For months, Helmut sees the emptying of the city. When Gladigau interprets the pictures, he sees Berlin as the home it always is. What does Helmut learn about photography from this experience?

6. Refugees come through Berlin and some speak of a brutal Soviet army the size of a continent. Others deny their truths and say it is not so. Why is it hard to know what is true and what is not? Who is right?

7. 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.

8. Why is Lore's family moving around and hiding in the farm valley? From whom are they hiding?

9. When Juri is injured, Lore is the first to carry him on her back. What does this indicate about Lore and her responsibilities?

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

Seiffert rarely specifies time and she never specifies certain ages. Discuss why Seiffert would want to keep places and timing general. How does this help the reader understand these stories are representative of many people and not just one person's story?

Essay Topic 2

Micha ends his story with a visit to Oma's with Dilan. Why is it significant, not just in Micha's story, but also for the entire novel, that there is a relationship between Oma and the great-grandchild? What does this represent in regards to love and the consequences of war?

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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