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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. Tirette is best described as which of the following?
2. Why do the men agree that being unluckily killed or luckily staying alive are not the same thing?
3. Cpl. Bertrand is described as being which of the following?
4. What is Lamuse's opinion of aircraft?
5. Why do the other men try to coax Volpatte into sharing his story?
Short Essay Questions
1. How do the invalids in the sanatorium learn of the war?
2. What happens when the refuge is shelled by artillery?
3. How do the men feel about the things they carry?
4. How does the author feel about the speech of the characters in the book he is writing?
5. What are the preparations for the offensive on the French side?
6. What is the state of the area around the railway station where the squad waits in Chapter 7?
7. What are the men's hopes and fears as their last day of leave approaches?
8. What are some of the predictions made by the invalids?
9. What happened to Joseph's brother, and how is his body found?
10. How do the men feel about their "treasures"?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
The machine gun is a feared weapon on the battlefield, and rightly so. Its effectiveness is seen in detail in the chapter "Under Fire," and the men discuss it on many occasions. It is the primary reason for the existence of trench warfare, and the cause of most of the misery on which the book centers. The machine gunners themselves represent an almost élite class in the army, being specially favored targets for retribution and looting, and receiving a variety of favors from their own side.
Part 1) Use information from the book to explain what a machine gun is and its impact on warfare in the time of the novel.
Part 2) Explain the men's perceptions and fears about machine guns. Cite specific examples to justify or disprove these perceptions.
Part 3) Discuss some of the ways that machine gunners are treated differently from other soldiers, both by their own forces and by the enemy. Why do these men receive this treatment?
Essay Topic 2
Near the end of the novel, religious themes are discussed frequently and in a serious fashion. The narrator himself reveals little about his faith or lack thereof, but the things he experiences clearly cause him to begin thinking about such matters in more detail. The men at the refuge discuss this subject in great detail. Appropriately, they ask more questions than they answer.
Part 1) How are religious themes developed throughout the novel. Explain how these themes are first introduced, where they are discussed most thoroughly and how, if at all, they are resolved.
Part 2) Explain the narrator's personal progression in this regard, citing examples to show his changing state of mind and increasing interest in the subject. Citing information from the book, explain why these changes take place.
Part 2) Explain some of the opinions of the poilus and other soldiers about religion and God. Explain how these opinions are consonant with their experiences and other opinions expressed at other points in the novel.
Essay Topic 3
There is a wide gap in perceptions about the war between the soldiers who are fighting it and the civilians who learn about its progress from the media. A few times in the novel, the soldiers come into direct conflict with this misunderstanding, but do little to correct it.
Part 1) Describe how the civilians perceive the state and progress of the war. How accurate are these perceptions?
Part 2) How does the media shape the perceptions of the civilians of France? Does this manipulation seem intentional? Speculate about the motives of the media.
Part 3) Explain how the poilus perceive the war. How does this differ from public perception? Why do the soldiers fail to speak out to correct the civilians?
This section contains 1,085 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)