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 does Joe think is the only important thing he has left?

2. What did Joe hear about Harper and his fortunes in the war?

3. How does Joe finally get fired?

4. What is Jose's ethnic background?

5. Why does Joe Bonham wish someone would pick up the phone?

Short Essay Questions

1. When is Joe's birthday; how did they celebrate; and what present did Glen give him one year? What came a few months after that present?

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

3. What does Joe think about doctors and war?

4. Describe the scene at the rail station when Joe is leaving for the army.

5. What idea does Pinky Carson come up with for Jose and how does that work out?

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

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

8. As Joe's pain fades some what does he think about and how does he feel about being deaf?

9. What doesn't Joe understand about being alive?

10. Why does Joe think being the way he is is worse than being in the womb?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

It is obvious even in the first few chapters that Joe Bonham is severely injured. Later, the reader learns the extent of his injuries. Discuss one of the following:

1. What is the extent of Joe's injuries and is it realistic that he would have survived such a situation in the early part of the 20th century? Does this lack of realism make a difference in reading the book? Give examples to support your thesis.

2. Would you have preferred death over an existence such as Joe's after his injury? Why or why not? Would it be moral to end Joe's life if he makes it very clear that is his wish? Explain fully.

3. Discuss the concept of quality of life over quantity of days, using examples from the text and your personal experience.

Essay Topic 2

One of the images in the book is the returning to the womb of an adult. Joe often expresses a feeling of being in a womb. When he first begins assessing his situation in the hospital, he expresses the desire that his mother care for him as he saw her care for his youngest sister, Elizabeth. Discuss the following:

1. How is the image of being in a womb both a positive and negative one in the book?

2. Why do you think Joe yearns for his mother to treat him like his young sister? Do you think his mother would be willing to care for Joe?

3. Many people who are dying, especially unexpectedly or in combat, call out for "mother." Discuss why you think this is so and include examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Joe thinks about how the doctor's have saved his life, but he rather than feeling appreciative, he is resentful and feels more like a science experiment. Discuss one of the following:

1. Elaborate on and analyze Joe's attitudes towards the doctors both at the field hospital and in his long term care facility.

2. Discuss the pros and cons of saving life at any cost, whether on the battlefield or otherwise.

3. One might think that doctors work harder to save young people because they are young and have not had a full lifespan, yet, in our culture, doctors often go to heroic efforts to save quite elderly persons, spending much resources for little return. Are their efforts "heroic"? Discuss fully.

(see the answer keys)

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