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 first asked to share his story about the depot, what does Volpatte repeat?

2. Who is sent with the narrator to find the missing Volpatte and Fouillade?

3. What type of establishment does Eudore's wife Mariette run?

4. How is Farfadet "saved"?

5. Why is Pépère envied by the other men?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do the men first meet Eudoxie, and what is Lamuse doing when they do?

2. What do the men believe about 77mm shells, despite evidence to the contrary?

3. What is the "feast of the survivors"?

4. Who was executed just before the events of Chapter 10, and why?

5. In what way is Fouillade similar to the dog, Labri?

6. Describe the conditions in which the squad digs the trench in Chapter 23.

7. How do the invalids in the sanatorium learn of the war?

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

9. What is the condition of most of the soldiers the morning after the bombardment?

10. What do the survivors of Bertrand's squad do while on leave?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 970 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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