Time's Arrow Test | Final 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 time does the station clock read at Treblinka when Odilo Unverdorben sees it?

2. Where does the narrator think that the Waffen Secret Service gets the ashes with which to make people?

3. Where does Odilo Unverdorben live while he is in medical school?

4. How does the narrator think the Jews are rejuvenated in the back of the vans his unit uses to ferry Jews?

5. Where are the patients stacked neatly?

Short Essay Questions

1. The narrator is usually just stuck with his backward perspective. Describe a case where he creates his own explanations and has to explain things to himself.

2. Describe the irony of the narrator's impression of Odilo Unverdorben's relationship with Jews.

3. Name four methods Odilo Unverdorben sees the Germans use to "process" the Jews?

4. How do Odilo Unverdorben's dreams change as he returns (according to the narrator's backward timeline) to his youth?

5. How does Odilo Unverdorben's relationship with Herta change when he arrives at Schless-Hartheim?

6. How does Odilo Unverdorben's language change during his time at Auschwitz?

7. The narrator and Uncle Pepi both see the work at Auschwitz as 100% successful. How does their agreement, from such different viewpoints, affect the reader?

8. How is the narrator right about Odilo Unverdorben's personality as a young man?

9. How does the narrator's impression of the killings at Schless-Hartheim increase the reader's sense of sympathy for the people the Nazis killed there?

10. What are the conditions the narrator finds when Odile Unverdorben arrives at Auschwitz?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The narrator and Odilo both have secret knowledge which others around them do not know.

1. Citing specific examples from the text, describe the effect of secrets on Odilo and the narrator. Who can they tell? Who do they have to keep the secrets from? How do the secrets affect their decisions or their feelings?

2. What part do the secrets play in the characters' development? What kinds of things are possible because of their secret knowledge? What kinds of things are impossible?

3. Why is Odilo afraid of being found out? Is there ever a time when he acts honestly, or considers revealing his secret to another character?

Essay Topic 2

How does the narrator's backwards point of view distort our experience of Odilo Unverdorben's life and actions? How does it help to reveal it? Citing specific examples from the text, describe the effect of the narrator's point of view.

Essay Topic 3

What would you have done if you were Odilo Unverdorben's age in Germany when the Nazis were coming to power? Given what you know about the progressively tighter restrictions on Jews' behavior, would you have followed along, or would you have kept yourself apart from the fascism, or would you have resisted it? Cite instances from the book of the kinds of choices you would have faced, and cite instances from your own experience as you discuss how you would have faced them.

(see the answer keys)

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