The Drowned and the Saved Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. How did prisoners who speak Yiddish look upon Italian Jews who did not speak it?

2. Monowitz was part of which camp?

3. What was the job of the Sonderkommandos?

4. What did new prisoners bring with them?

5. Why should survivors' stories be read critically?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do survivors simplify the past by using stark good vs. evil distinctions?

2. How do people react to having limited communication?

3. Explain the nature of human memory.

4. What happeneds to people who become sonderkommandos?

5. Why were political prisoners envied?

6. Comment on Levi's experience with speaking/understanding German in the lager.

7. What is Primo Levi's theory about judging any people associated with the lagers?

8. How does a totalitarian state control its citizens?

9. According to Levi, why do oppressors suppress memories?

10. What does Levi consider to be the extreme case of collaboration?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss some of the main issues regarding communication mentioned in the book. Make sure to touch on communication within the lager as well as the communication of survivors.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the writing style and the tone of the book. How does it contribute to the overall impact of the book?

Essay Topic 3

What would you have done if you were recruited to be a sonderkommando? How do you think you would have handled being in that situation?

(see the answer keys)

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