The Dark Room Themes

Rachel Seiffert
This Study Guide consists of approximately 58 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Dark Room.
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Shame / Embarrassment

Throughout the novel, the themes of shame and embarrassment are prominent, but for very different reasons. Helmut feels shame because his physical disability forces him to be different from the rest of Berlin society during World War II. He is unable to join the military, often mocked, given charity, and generally regarded as less than other members of society. His parents, and particularly his mother, feel embarrassment at their son's disability, as their friends' sons go to fight for Germany.

Lore, too, feels shame when she learns of her country's involvement in the extermination of the Jews, and of her parents' involvement with the Nazi party. This shame conflicts drastically with the love Lore has for her family, and creates a problematic situation for Lore as she tries to grasp the long-term consequences of the Holocaust on herself and her family. Tomas, too, feels shame when he...

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This section contains 1,651 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Dark Room Study Guide
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