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 skill do Joe and his friends master?

2. What type of musical instrument does Joe's mother play?

3. After he finds out he has no mouth, teeth or palate what does he realize?

4. What does Joe do when he finally realizes the full extent of his injuries?

5. What happened to the coal miner who returned home badly wounded?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Joe see on the way home from the train station?

2. Why does Joe think he is dying and why does he know he is alive?

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

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

5. 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?

6. What are the two problems Jose talks to the guys at the bakery about?

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

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

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

10. What book did Joe read that gave him a nightmare and what was that nightmare?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Joe Bonham wonders why people are so inconsiderate, and feels more like he is coming out of ether rather than hung over, and is tired of hearing that his father is dead and going home. Father can die only once, so the phone must be part of a dream.

1. Joe is lying in a VA hospital with horrific injuries. He feels like he is coming out of ether. He is. The world at the moment seems unreal to him. Explain the flashbacks and images that Joe has in his head at the beginning of the book.

2. Almost all of this book is written as flashbacks to Joe's life before he was injured. How did this narrative technique enhance the book? Given Joe's injuries, discuss any other options the author may have had to tell the story.

3. How did the fact that this book is almost entirely flashbacks affect the pace? What about the plot? How did it enhance or obscure the themes?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

If human beings are both body and spirit as many religions suggest, Joe seems to be existing in a grey area--neither fully body nor fully spirit. Discuss the following:

1. What aspects of Joe's present life are most like being in "spirit" form? Give examples and analyze your examples.

2. What aspects of Joe's present life are most like being in "corporal" form? Give examples and analyze your examples.

3. How does Joe's actions over the course of the novel demonstrate his preference for either aspect--body or spirit?

(see the answer keys)

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