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. What kind of a structure does the squad occupy during the violent rainstorm in Chapter 11?

2. Volpatte shares the first part of his story just after the squad finishes what type of duty?

3. How does the narrator feel about the trench completed in Chapter 12?

4. According to the media, what is the state of the war?

5. Tirette is best described as which of the following?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do the men feel about the things they carry?

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

3. What happens when the refuge is shelled by artillery?

4. Why does Eudore agree to take his five old friends with him when he goes to visit his wife?

5. How adequate are the rations and wages issued to the men?

6. What unusual orders are given to the unit in Chapter 11?

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

8. What do the soldiers believe about fraternity, liberty, and equality?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many types of forces and divisions within the French army are discussed in the book. The poilus are the mainstay of the French forces, but there are many others, including the Territorials, the Zouaves, and the Foreign Legion.

Part 1) Describe in detail at least three forces in the French army besides the poilus. Using information from the book, discuss their composition, their armaments, and their strengths and weaknesses.

Part 2) Using examples from the book, explain how each of these groups performs a vital function in the French army that helps to support the poilus.

Part 3) Explain how the poilus relate to each of these others forces. How often do they work in close connection? What is the poilus' opinion of each group?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The author makes it a point to center the narrative spotlight on a number of inexplicable or irrational actions on the part of the French army and its officers. The army does much that makes little sense, and this tends to reinforce the theme of hopeless and pointless waste.

Part 1) Describe some examples of actions on the part of the French army and its officers that seems to make little sense.

Part 2) Explain the reaction of the men of Bertrand's squad to this irrationality. Cite specific examples of these reactions and explain their significance.

Part 3) Speculate as to the reasoning behind some of these unexplained or mysterious actions. Could there be well-founded explanations for some of these behaviors? In the case of actions with no apparent explanation, speculate about how such an action became sanctioned and approved by the military.

(see the answer keys)

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