Biloxi Blues 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 does Toomey say he considers less offensive than burglary?

2. What state is the army base in?

3. What permanent reminder of an injury does Toomey have?

4. What won't Toomey allow Epstein to do?

5. What is wrong with Roy's mouth?

Short Essay Questions

1. What courtesy does Epstein give Eugene that none of the other soldiers do?

2. How does Toomey treat Epstein, and why?

3. Why is everyone surprised about what Eugene has written about them?

4. What is Toomey's strategy for punishing Eugene for his answers?

5. What does Hennessey do when he tries to defend Epstein and Eugene?

6. How does Eugene react to Rowena when she talks about herself?

7. What does it show about Carney's character that he talks to Eugene about what Eugene wrote?

8. What punishment does Toomey promise if Epstein doesn't complete his duty to Toomey's standards?

9. What does Rowena say about her home life?

10. What prevented Eugene from seeing any action in the war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Boot camp takes young men who are adapted to civilian life and attempts to adapt them for life in a war. Discuss this aspect of the characters' time in boot camp.

1) What makes a person a good soldier in the play? How good or bad are the same personality traits in civilian society? Which of the soldiers are well adapted to being in a war?

2) Which of the characters are best adapted for civilian life, and why? How well-suited are their characteristics in war?

3) Do the characters learn strategies for adapting their civilian behaviors to becoming soldiers? In what ways?

Essay Topic 2

The play BILOXI BLUES is about soldiers during wartime, but little is actually seen of the war. Discuss the role of war in the novel.

1) Why does the play show Eugene's experience before shipping overseas, and then end with his retelling of events during the war, but not show the war itself?

2) How real does the war seem to the soldiers in boot camp?

3) What affect does the existence of the war, which the soldiers will soon have to become a part of, have on their decisions and attitudes?

Essay Topic 3

An "other" is someone who is different and becomes outcast. Discuss being different and the concept of the "other" in the play.

1) In what ways are each of the characters different and therefore outcast from the others? Which are outcasts in the culture of the army?

2) How do the characters react to the things that make other characters different? Do any of the characters relate their own status as "others" with ways in which others are also outcasts?

3) How does the idea of an outcast "other" relate to war? Who becomes the "other" during wartime, and how do the soldiers think and talk about this during the play?

(see the answer keys)

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