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. Where do the men of Cpl. Bertrand's squad hope to be sent for rest?

2. Pépin states that engages should not boast of having served unless they do which of the following?

3. About how many deaths are predicted in the first chapter?

4. Cpl. Bertrand is described as being which of the following?

5. What does Mariette give to Eudore before he leaves?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Volpatte and Fouillade get lost?

2. How do Blaire and the others blunder into German lines while searching for matches?

3. What are some of the predictions made by the invalids?

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

5. What members of the squad are wounded, die, or are discovered dead after the assault on Hill 119?

6. Describe Lamuse's relationship with Eudoxie.

7. Describe the encounter that the narrator and Paradis have with the four German soldiers.

8. How adequate are the rations and wages issued to the men?

9. How prepared are the men for a gas attack?

10. How does the squad acquire room and board in Gauchin-l'Abbé?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Trench warfare features heavily in the novel, and brutality of a frontal assault on a trench is shown in detail in the title chapter, "Under Fire."

Part 1) Based on information from the book, describe the basics of trench warfare. Why are trenches necessary? How is a trench defended and assaulted?

Part 2) Cite examples from the book to show how successful frontal assaults against trenches usually are. What dangers does an assaulting force face on their approach to the trench?

Part 3) Describe the overall effectiveness of this kind of warfare. Based on the events of the novel, does this kind of warfare appear decisive?

Essay Topic 2

The author demonstrates that in the war, life is cheap. Soldiers on both sides die for mundane reasons with no clear gain. The poilus of Bertrand's squad and others show that the deaths of strangers mean little to them, and the death of friends is common and unremarkable, though sad.

Part 1) Cite and explain examples from the book to show how the author establishes the poilus' attitude towards death..

Part 2) Discuss the theme of the cheapness of life. What are some of the smallest and most meaningless reasons that soldiers die in the novel? How do the soldiers react to these events?

Part 3) Do the men of Cpl. Bertrand's squad seem aware of the cheapness of their own lives? How do they deal with the nearly constant threat of death, and the knowledge that death may mean nothing?

Essay Topic 3

The equipment, appearance, and clothing of the poilus is discussed at length throughout the book. They are depicted as individuals, each with a unique look and personality. This individuality forms an important theme in the novel, demonstrating that the soldiers are normal people thrust into circumstances that they have difficulty adapting to and understanding. They maintain this individuality until the final chapter of the book, when the rain and mud make the men of both sides appear the same.

Part 1) Using examples from the book, explain how the author establishes the individuality of the soldiers on the basis of appearance.

Part 2) Discuss how this individuality reflects the soldier's unique backgrounds and temperaments.

Part 3) How does this individuality become an important theme in the novel? Why is it important that the author picks out and differentiates individuals among the masses of the French army? Explain how this theme is developed in the novel, starting with the introduction of the individual soldiers, and ending with the reflection near the end of the novel that war is made up of individuals, but that they fade into nothing in the grand scheme of the struggle.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,026 words
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