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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 Fouillade from?
2. How do Volpatte and Fouillade capture the two German soldiers?
3. Why does Tulacque believe that those who drive the artillery pieces to Verdun are not truly in the war?
4. What does Mariette give to Eudore before he leaves?
5. The soldier being carried by the Territorial stretcher-bearers was killed doing what?
Short Essay Questions
1. What are some of the reasons that the men at the depot use to explain why they are not fighting?
2. What is the state of the area around the railway station where the squad waits in Chapter 7?
3. Where is Fouillade from, and what is his hometown like?
4. Briefly summarize Cocon's description of the organization of the forces present near the railway station.
5. Describe the encounter that the narrator and Paradis have with the four German soldiers.
6. What does the narrator overhear the Legionnaires talking about? What are they planning, and why?
7. What does Volpatte do at the depot after recovering from his injuries?
8. During his six-day leave, how much time is Eudore able to share with his wife?
9. What do the men believe about 77mm shells, despite evidence to the contrary?
10. What religious references does the narrator make while escorting Joseph to safety?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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.
Essay Topic 2
Corporal Bertrand is the aloof leader of the narrator's squad. The men respect his leadership, and he clearly is capable, most of his men having earned medals for their exploits.
Part 1) Describe Cpl. Bertrand as a character. What are his major character traits? What sets him apart, other than his rank, from the other members of the squad?
Part 2) What evidence suggests that Cpl. Bertrand is a capable leader? How does he earn the loyalty of the men who serve under his command?
Part 3) Explain, using examples from the book, what Cpl. Bertrand's leadership style is like in action. How does this contribute to the functioning of the squad?
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 1,084 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)