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 does Helmut find safety after the second bombing is over?

2. What does Helmut enjoy most about the train station?

3. What happens to Helmut's feelings about being a soldier in Section 4?

4. How is Papi best described?

5. What does Lore hear at the hideout when she listens out the window?

Short Essay Questions

1. Helmut has the opportunity to work as a soldier five years into the war. What are Helmut's thoughts and feelings towards being a soldier?

2. Germany attacks its neighbors and gains more lands that are prosperous. Neither Helmut nor anyone in his neighborhood seems to argue the Third Reich's actions. In fact, many boys are signing up to fight the war. Why would some Germans welcome the war and the push into other countries?

3. 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?

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

5. 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?

6. Refugees come through Berlin and some speak of a brutal Soviet army the size of a continent. Others deny their truths and say it is not so. Why is it hard to know what is true and what is not? Who is right?

7. Tomas helps Lore and her family out of trouble and follows them. Why? What does he gain from the situation? Is he just being nice?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the significance of the posted pictures of the Holocaust. Why are they posted? How do the Germans receive them? What issues come up concerning the pictures?

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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