Under Fire 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. The men of the squad agree that support services should be performed by which of the following groups?

2. What do the men concede with regards to the "shirkers"?

3. Cpl. Marchal has what relationship to the narrator?

4. According to the men, what is the attitude of the army towards plundering civilians?

5. According to Cocon, each regiment includes how many non-combatants?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is meant by the phrase that each poilu "carries his crowd along"?

2. What are some of the reasons that the men at the depot use to explain why they are not fighting?

3. What do the men of the squad think about the shirkers?

4. What religious references does the narrator make while escorting Joseph to safety?

5. Briefly summarize Cocon's description of the organization of the forces present near the railway station.

6. What unusual orders are given to the unit in Chapter 11?

7. What happened to Joseph's brother, and how is his body found?

8. What do the survivors of Bertrand's squad do while on leave?

9. Describe Lamuse's relationship with Eudoxie.

10. What is Poterloo's mental state when he and the narrator discover the remains of Souchez?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

This novel is alleged to be semi auto-biographical, and there are strong hints that the narrator of the story is the author. Still, little is revealed about the narrator, although it is clear that he is not like the other men of the squad.

Part 1) Describe as many details about the narrator as possible. What are his personality traits? What is his background and history?

Part 2) Explain what sets the narrator apart from the other men of the squad. How is he different in speech, action, and thought? What does this say about his character?

Part 3) What evidence exists to suggest that the author and narrator are the same person? Is there any evidence to the contrary? What is the author's intent in this regard?

Part 4) Describe the literary intent of suggesting, but never confirming, that the narrator is the author.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the novel, many opinions of the poilus are articulated indirectly. The perspective always stays with the men of Bertrand's squad and almost always with the narrator, but through the experiences of these men, the perceptions of many other people towards the poilus becomes clear.

Part 1) Explain how the poilus, and particularly groups like Bertrand's squad, who have spent a great deal of time in the trenches, are perceived by the more active forces, such as other formations that are on the march, or the Moroccan Division.

Part 2) Describe the shirker's attitudes towards the poilus. How are these attitudes shaped by the shirker's own failures and vices?

Part 3) Explain how the civilians and journalists see the poilus. How are these perceptions shaped by this group's desire to support the war?

Essay Topic 3

The author makes it a point to center the narrative spotlight on a number of inexplicable or irrational actions on the part of the French army and its officers. The army does much that makes little sense, and this tends to reinforce the theme of hopeless and pointless waste.

Part 1) Describe some examples of actions on the part of the French army and its officers that seems to make little sense.

Part 2) Explain the reaction of the men of Bertrand's squad to this irrationality. Cite specific examples of these reactions and explain their significance.

Part 3) Speculate as to the reasoning behind some of these unexplained or mysterious actions. Could there be well-founded explanations for some of these behaviors? In the case of actions with no apparent explanation, speculate about how such an action became sanctioned and approved by the military.

(see the answer keys)

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