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. Why does the old man who speaks to the soldiers leave angry?

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

3. Overall, the men of Cpl. Bertrand's squad are best described in what way?

4. Was does Poterloo discover about his wife?

5. How did Volpatte and Fouillade help Sgt. Sacerdote?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where is Fouillade from, and what is his hometown like?

2. How has the squad been reduced in numbers when Chapter 20 opens?

3. What are the men's hopes and fears as their last day of leave approaches?

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

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

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

7. How do the men feel about their "treasures"?

8. What is the attitude of the men towards the journalists?

9. What is Volpatte's opinion of the phrase, "If we do return"?

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

Lamuse is a unique character with strange, but internally consistent behavior. He is eccentric, but extremely loyal to his squad. Among the many normal men the narrator describes being drawn into the war, Lamuse learns to adapt well and demonstrates his strong character at many points in the novel.

Part 1) Describe Lamuse as a character. Who is he? Where does he come from? What is his appearance? What are his personality traits?

Part 2) The narrator often uses comparisons to various animals to describe Lamuse. Cite some of these examples and explain their purpose. What do these comparisons establish about Lamuse?

Part 3) Explain some of Lamuse's eccentricities and odd behavior, as well as some ways that he demonstrates his loyalty and dedication to the squad.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 3,470 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
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