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 does Juri offer his bread to despite his own hunger?

2. Who commits suicide just days after Helmut's last photo?

3. What causes Helmut to smile for the first time in a photo?

4. How are Helmut's winters described?

5. How is Helmut's ability as a darkroom technician described?

Short Essay Questions

1. When the Americans question Lore, Tomas shows up with papers and tells them they are a family. What do the papers show and why does Seiffert mention a tattoo on Tomas' arm?

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

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. Elena brings Micha to the place where her husband and his Opa killed the Jews. Describe Elena's reaction to the site of the killing fields. How does this reaction show who she is as a person?

6. Describe Micha's feelings for his Opa as time goes on as he continues his search for the truth.

7. Describe Micha's family dynamics.

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

9. 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?

10. As Lore and her siblings walk on, some seem suspicious of their backgrounds but people usually help them anyway. Why do some people look at Lore's family with disdain but eventually help?

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

Helmut is a photographer's assistant, Lore looks at her family photo, and Micha compares his Opa's pictures to Hitler and Jozef's. Explain the significance of pictures in Seiffert's novel. Without going into too much detail of each picture, write about how pictures in general tell a person's truth and lies.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 2,222 words
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