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. What nationality is Primo Levi?

2. What does Levi think it is his mission to do?

3. Which subset of prisoners does Levi think make the best observers?

4. What function did ghettos serve?

5. What does Levi think about power?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happeneds to people who become sonderkommandos?

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

3. Levi often characterizes survivors as being privileged. What does he mean by this?

4. Why does Primo Levi write about his experiences?

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

6. Explain the concept of "convenient truth."

7. Explain the theory of "incommunicability."

8. Why did survivors not feel the happiness at liberation that is portrayed in literature and movies?

9. What is "willed ignorance?"

10. While clearing rubble, Levi finds a spigot with fresh water. Why was this such a big deal?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze Levi's situation when he finds the water spigot.

1) Do you agree with the decision he made? Why or why not?

2) What do you think you would have done in the same situation?

Essay Topic 2

"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

1) Discuss this quote in reference to life during the Nazi era for Jews in the ghettos and lagers.

2) Discuss this quote in reference to Nazi officials and SS guards.

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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