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 knocks on Helmut's door when the second bombing occurs?

2. What makes the children start to fight when Mutti speaks with the farmer?

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

4. Where are the children when Lore sees the crowd by the tree?

5. Who comes to visit Mutti in a jeep?

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. When the family eats their soup, Juri shyly offers his bread to Tomas. What does this indicate about Juri and his family?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. Helmut finally gets to join the army. What does this imply about the state of Germany at this point in the war?

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel touches upon lots of judgments and racism. Compare and contrast generational differences to these issues. How do the Omas feel? How do children of the veterans feel? Grandchildren?

Essay Topic 2

Describe Mutti's observation in Helmut's individual photo. Why does she see pain in the individual photo but not the family photo? Is there really pain or something Mutti thinks up?

Essay Topic 3

Many characters in the novel are shown doing both good and bad deeds. Write about what makes a person good or bad. What goes into the title of good or bad?

(see the answer keys)

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