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 opportunity does Gladigau give Helmut?

2. Why is Mutti "clever" for having something on the table every night?

3. How are Helmut's winters described?

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

5. How does Helmut react to his photos of the gypsies?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. During one of Helmut's walks around the city, he encounters the SS collecting and trucking the gypsies away. What is Helmut's reaction to this event?

4. The new train station guard does not like Helmut immediately. Only after knowing Helmut's current situation, does he help Helmut. Why does the train station guard act this way? What does that say about the bombings in Berlin?

5. 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?

6. Helmut catalogues Berlin through his snapshots. For months, Helmut sees the emptying of the city. When Gladigau interprets the pictures, he sees Berlin as the home it always is. What does Helmut learn about photography from this experience?

7. Helmut is not strong or smart. Yet, there are indications that Helmut is clever about getting what he wants. Give an example of how Helmut shows his clever ways.

8. When Juri is injured, Lore is the first to carry him on her back. What does this indicate about Lore and her responsibilities?

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

10. 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.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Helmut speaks of loyalty and pride in regards to the Third Reich. However, Helmut is human and more complex than having a simple faith. How does Helmut show indications that his loyalty are also feelings that are self-serving and not for the people of Germany?

Essay Topic 3

Describe in detail and follow the progression of Lore's feelings for Tomas. How does she feel about him when she first sees him? How does she feel about Tomas when Juri asks about him on the ferry?

(see the answer keys)

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