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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 events of the first chapter take place?
2. According to Cocon, how many corps are present in the area of the railway depot?
3. Why does Labri refuse to eat?
4. Who is sent with the narrator to find the missing Volpatte and Fouillade?
5. What do the men concede with regards to the "shirkers"?
Short Essay Questions
1. What is Volpatte's opinion of the phrase, "If we do return"?
2. How much do the men seem to know about different kinds of weapons and artillery?
3. What do most of the wounded in the refuge think about God?
4. During his six-day leave, how much time is Eudore able to share with his wife?
5. What do the men believe about 77mm shells, despite evidence to the contrary?
6. What is the condition of most of the soldiers the morning after the bombardment?
7. What do the soldiers think about people touting the fine and admirable side of war?
8. What do Volpatte and Fouillade do between the time they are sent to the shell-hole and the time they are found by their unit?
9. What members of the squad are wounded, die, or are discovered dead after the assault on Hill 119?
10. What is the state of the area around the railway station where the squad waits in Chapter 7?
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
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
There are only a handful of times in the novel that the French and German soldiers come into peaceful contact, but these events are remarkable during war, and they stand out in the novel.
Part 1) Describe at least two scenes in the novel when French and German soldiers come into contact with one another without attempting to kill one another. Explain why the peaceful contact occurs.
Part 2) What do the French and German soldiers discuss when they are in contact? Are they still enemies? Why or or why not?
Part 3) Explain some of the themes of the novel elucidated by this type of contact.
This section contains 1,012 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)