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 is the reaction of the refugees when they first meet Helmut?

2. How does the reader know the woman who helps Lore is also in bad shape?

3. What attracts Lore to a particular tree?

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

5. What does Helmut notice during the family beach vacation?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

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

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. 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?

5. When Lore offers to buy food from the woman who gives her bread and milk, she asks if Lore has anything other than money. Why does the woman not prefer money?

6. At night, when the bombs are close, Helmut shouts at the noise. Why does he feel this need? What does it do for him?

7. Helmut does not ever speak of Germany's purge of its own population. Does Helmut, as a common civilian, know about the prison camps in other parts of Germany? Does it make a difference in his beliefs?

8. 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?

9. Gladigau is first Papi's, then Helmut's employer. Gladigau does more than just pay his workers. How is Gladigau an important figure, especially to Helmut?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Elena notes that for her love of a murderer her punishment is having no children. Detail why Elena might feel she should be punished for her husband's action. How is love and punishment related?

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 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.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,602 words
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