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 bargains with the civilian woman for space to sleep and eat?

3. The soldier being carried by the Territorial stretcher-bearers was killed doing what?

4. What order does Cpl. Broyer issue?

5. Why is Pépère envied by the other men?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Volpatte regard his wound? How do the other men regard it?

2. What is the state of the area around the railway station where the squad waits in Chapter 7?

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

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

5. In Chapter 15, how do the men react to the lack of supplies?

6. According to the author, what is important about the men writing letters home?

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

8. What do the soldiers think about people touting the fine and admirable side of war?

9. What obstacles do the French face during their assault on the German trench?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Despair is a constant threat in the novel. Many characters find unique ways to fight against despair and some are consumed by it. It is the source of strange behavior and adaptive strategies, and the cause of some seemingly suicidal actions.

Part 1) Explain the theme of despair as it occurs in the novel. How does this threat compare to other threats of trench life and warfare?

Part 2) Discuss some of the strategies some of the men develop to stave off despair. How well do these strategies fare. Explain examples of the men falling into complete despair.

Part 3) Using examples from the last chapters of the book, give a last analysis of the theme of despair. How much does it affect the men overall? How successful can they be, in the end, in fighting it off?

Essay Topic 2

Functional equipment is discussed throughout the novel indirectly by the narrator and openly by members of the squad. The men live and sometimes die by the equipment that they carry, and so its nature, maintenance and quality is of utmost importance. The men use a variety of standard issue, irregular, and even improvised equipment.

Part 1) What do the men think of their standard-issue equipment and supplies from the government? Do they generally find that these things are adequate for their day-to-day needs and the demands of battle?

Part 2) How do the men supplement their government-issued equipment? How do they personalize and augment their clothing, weapons, and supplies?

Part 3) What are the men's priorities when selecting and dealing with their equipment? What factors seem most important, and which seem of little relevance to them?

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 1,091 words
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