Johnny Got His Gun 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 Joe trying to stop?

2. What do the workers tell Jose to do?

3. Why does Joe not understand how he is alive?

4. What does Joe wonder about when he thinks of the foxhole?

5. What does Joe see in the snow as he thinks of his life?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does he worry about a ring? What kind of ring is it and who gave it to him?

2. When did Joe become aware of the war and what events in the war occurred at that time?

3. Why does Joe wish someone would pick up the phone and what happens when they do?

4. Who does Joe call out to in his nightmare and why?

5. Describe how Joe is feeling while working in the desert.

6. Why doesn't Joe worry about loss of appetite?

7. What does Joe think about guys fighting for liberty?

8. How does Joe think he might be able to tell being awake and asleep with no eyes?

9. Who is the pilot who comes to Joe's hometown, what does he do and what does the superintendent of schools say about airplanes?

10. Why does Howie wake Joe up after working all day on the railroad?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

This story is written in a series of flashbacks in a stream-of-consciousness style. Discuss one of the following:

1. Define flashback and stream of consciousness. What are some reasons an author would choose to use each of these literary devices? Give examples of each from the text.

2. Analyze the way the author uses flashbacks to make Joe a more complex, well-rounded character. Does the fact that the flashbacks are not chronological make the story more realistic? What are the advantages and disadvantages of flashbacks?

3. A narration using stream of consciousness can be difficult at times to follow and understand because most people's brains when reading are more linear and organized, though the thought process tends to be associative. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the stream-of-consciousness style in this book.

Essay Topic 2

Joe Bonham also has to join, and ends up lying in bed, thinking this is no place for him, no war for him, none of his business. What does he care about making the world safe for democracy?

1. Compare Joe's feelings about war and his assertion that it is none of his business with the ideas many Vietnam draftees expressed.

2. Do you think Joe's reaction to war is a common reaction for draftees? Why or why not?

3. The idea that rich, political persons declare war but the common, poor person fights them. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

The first section of the book begins a theme that finds its culmination in the final chapters--the idea of dying for one's country and "freedom." Discuss one of the following:

1. During the last conflict in which there was a draft (Vietnam), many men choose to leave the United States rather than fight in a war in which they do not believe. Discuss how Joe views his being drafted and the reasons he accepts his legal obligation. How does he think about this same subject near the end of the book?

2. Is it ever moral to refuse to serve one's country? Take a stance and give detailed examples to support it.

3. Compare and contrast a war/conflict in which the United States was involved which seemed justifiable with one that does not seem as such.

(see the answer keys)

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