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. Where is Helmut born?

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

3. Who helps Helmut obtain consistent food?

4. How does Helmut feel as the war progresses?

5. What is Helmut's reaction during the second bombing?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. Describe Lore's role in the family.

4. 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?

5. Tomas travels with the family for a long time, but once they reach the border, he wants to leave them. Why would Tomas want to leave at this point?

6. 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.

7. Oma explains to Lore that Vati and Mutti are good people despite their involvement. Explain Oma's situation and where she stands regarding Mutti and Vati.

8. What is Micha's search for the truth doing to the family?

9. In the short amount of time Micha spends in Belarus on his first visit, he receives various receptions of his German background. Compare and contrast Andrej's and his mother's reception of Micha to the grandfather at the museum's.

10. Dilan and Micha are on a visit to Oma. What does that signify about Micha's relationship with his Oma?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Seiffert writes over many generations in the novel. World War II ended in 1945 yet Micha is affected in the late 1990s when he learns about his Opa. Write about how history affects the present. This paper may take one of two paths, politically or personally. Choose only one avenue.

Essay Topic 2

Micha ends his story with a visit to Oma's with Dilan. Why is it significant, not just in Micha's story, but also for the entire novel, that there is a relationship between Oma and the great-grandchild? What does this represent in regards to love and the consequences of war?

Essay Topic 3

Helmut listens to the radio for Germany's progress. At the same time, he notices an emptying of Berlin. The two are correlated, but it is a mystery to Helmut. What is the correlation and what makes it difficult for Helmut to see how the victories abroad are tied to the city's emptiness?

(see the answer keys)

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