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. How does Seiffert first introduce Helmut's family as impoverished?

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

3. How does Gladigau view Papi and his family?

4. How are Lore and the children able to get food when there is no money?

5. What happens when Lore and her siblings must cross a river with a broken bridge?

Short Essay Questions

1. When the farmer's son taunts Lore and pushes her down, the twins throw rocks at him. What does this show about the children?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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.

5. 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?

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

7. 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?

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. 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.

10. What changes does Lore's family go through during the war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast racism during and after war. Who is harassed? In what way? Why?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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