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. Where is the desert in which Joe is working?

2. What is Joe trying to stop?

3. What is Jose's ethnic background?

4. What happens when Joe tries to yell?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What does Joe want to stop and why?

6. What does Joe think about doctors and war?

7. How far does Joe walk to get to the bakery and how much money does he make?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

When Joe is boarding the train to go to boot camp after being drafted, he describes a scene of bands playing, flags waving and women and children calling out to their beloved husbands, sons, and brothers who are leaving for war. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think men (and now women also) are often sent off to war in an almost-festive-like atmosphere?

2. Does this send off make it harder or easier for Joe Bonham to march off to war? Explain.

3. If sending men and women off to war were treated like a funeral, do you think it would impact those leaving in a positive or negative way? Explain.

4. How would the political powers be impacted if war were viewed differently by a funeral-like send off?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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