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 patrons at the shop give instead of money for food?

2. How do Helmut's parents deny his birth defect?

3. Why does Lore bury the last of Vati's pictures?

4. Why is Mutti embarrassed of Helmut?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. The children take a family picture to send to Mutti. What is Lore's reflection about the changes in her and her siblings?

4. 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?

5. Describe the pictures of Micha and his Opa. Why are these pictures special to Micha?

6. 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?

7. Helmut notices the city is emptying. More people are leaving on the trains and less are returning. This is a mystery and Seiffert never explicitly offers an explanation. Why not?

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

9. Seiffert writes that it is painful for Micha to see Dilan's perspective of the family so pure and innocent. Why would this be painful?

10. 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?

Essay 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

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 3

Micha knows very little about Opa before his research about his war's past. Micha was not even old enough to attend Opa's funeral. Yet, Micha feels shame about Opa's actions and is too embarrassed to admit his family past when he visits Belarus. Why does Micha feel shame for someone he knows very little about? What is blood relations and family history so important to Micha?

(see the answer keys)

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