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. When Chapter 12 begins, how long has the squad been digging trenches?

2. Why is Pépère envied by the other men?

3. In Chapter 3, how long do the soldiers have before they get sent back to the front?

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

5. What does Eudoxie do when Lamuse announces his feelings to her?

Short Essay Questions

1. During his six-day leave, how much time is Eudore able to share with his wife?

2. What do the soldiers believe about fraternity, liberty, and equality?

3. How do Volpatte and Fouillade get lost?

4. What happens when the refuge is shelled by artillery?

5. How do the men feel about the things they carry?

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

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

8. What does the narrator overhear the Legionnaires talking about? What are they planning, and why?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The shirkers are introduced in Volpatte's story about his time behind the lines recovering from his head injuries. His comrades are disgusted to hear his stories of the cowardice, deceit, and arrogance of these men who refuse to join in the war effort.

Part 1) Explain what "shirkers" are. What background do these men typically come from? What are some of the common excuses given for avoiding the war?

Part 2) Citing specific examples from the book, speculate about whether the shirkers are aware of their moral failings.

Part 3) What do the poilus think of the shirkers? How does Volpatte's story affect the squad on an immediate and a long-term basis?

Essay Topic 2

Many types of forces and divisions within the French army are discussed in the book. The poilus are the mainstay of the French forces, but there are many others, including the Territorials, the Zouaves, and the Foreign Legion.

Part 1) Describe in detail at least three forces in the French army besides the poilus. Using information from the book, discuss their composition, their armaments, and their strengths and weaknesses.

Part 2) Using examples from the book, explain how each of these groups performs a vital function in the French army that helps to support the poilus.

Part 3) Explain how the poilus relate to each of these others forces. How often do they work in close connection? What is the poilus' opinion of each group?

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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