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 is notable about Joseph's eating habits?

2. What does Epstein call Toomey?

3. How many young men are on stage at the beginning of Act 1?

4. What does Eugene ask Epstein?

5. What does the prostitute ask Eugene when he comes out from hiding?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the army find out the identity of the escaped soldier?

2. At the end of Act 2, Scene 7, how does Eugene say his relationship with Daisy has developed?

3. What does Arnold's fantasy say about his character?

4. Where has Eugene traveled in the past?

5. How does Eugene react to the men reading his notebook?

6. Who does Eugene talk to at the end of the scene, and why?

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

8. What is the soldiers' new sergeant like?

9. Why is Eugene uncomfortable and nervous in Act 2, Scene 1?

10. Describe how Toomey wakes up the soldiers.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A major structural feature of the play is the soliloquies delivered by Eugene. Discuss the use of soliloquies in the play.

1) Why does the author include soliloquies that give the audience insight into Eugene's thoughts? Why does the author use Eugene's notebooks as the source of these soliloquies?

2) How would the play be different if Eugene did not talk to the audience? How would it shift the focus of the play?

3) What does the audience learn about Eugene from his actions alone, and how does this differ from what the audience learns from hearing Eugene's thoughts and writings?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss friendship in the novel.

1) The soldiers are thrown together from different backgrounds and with different personalities. To what extent do the soldiers develop friendships with each other? Which soldiers develop the closest friendships?

2) Is friendship different than mutual respect and reliance as soldiers? In what way?

3) How do the soldiers' differences from each other stand in the way of friendship? Does being in the army together forge friendship? How?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss confrontation in the play.

1) Epstein isn't afraid to confront the other characters, while Eugene tends to be non-confrontational. Why do the two characters take these different attitudes? What are the dangers and benefits of Epstein and Eugene's attitudes toward confrontation?

2) Which of the soldiers are willing to be confrontational toward Toomey, in what circumstances, and why? What does this say about the soldiers?

3) How does being confrontational personally relate to one's ability to be a soldier in the play?

(see the answer keys)

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