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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. Who is Eudoxie?
2. According to Volpatte, how many shirkers are there in the depots?
3. What does the newspaper claim about the state of affairs for the poilu?
4. In Chapter 11, a general schedules a curfew for what period of time everyday?
5. When the narrator and the other encounter Eudoxie, what is Lamuse doing?
Short Essay Questions
1. How do the civilian's perceptions of the war differ from the soldier's experiences?
2. How does the author feel about the speech of the characters in the book he is writing?
3. Where is Fouillade from, and what is his hometown like?
4. Where do the men go when the bombardment gets worse? What happens when they get there?
5. What do the men believe about 77mm shells, despite evidence to the contrary?
6. What are some of the reasons that the men at the depot use to explain why they are not fighting?
7. What religious references does the narrator make while escorting Joseph to safety?
8. How prepared are the men for a gas attack?
9. What does Volpatte do at the depot after recovering from his injuries?
10. How adequate are the rations and wages issued to the men?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Throughout the novel, many opinions of the poilus are articulated indirectly. The perspective always stays with the men of Bertrand's squad and almost always with the narrator, but through the experiences of these men, the perceptions of many other people towards the poilus becomes clear.
Part 1) Explain how the poilus, and particularly groups like Bertrand's squad, who have spent a great deal of time in the trenches, are perceived by the more active forces, such as other formations that are on the march, or the Moroccan Division.
Part 2) Describe the shirker's attitudes towards the poilus. How are these attitudes shaped by the shirker's own failures and vices?
Part 3) Explain how the civilians and journalists see the poilus. How are these perceptions shaped by this group's desire to support the war?
Essay Topic 2
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.
Essay Topic 3
The scale of the war is important to many themes in the novel, and the men of the squad have opportunities to glimpse a portion of its full size. The strategic development of deep fronts that are hundreds of miles long necessitates huge armies, and the drive for advanced and numerically superior firepower requires volumes of weapons and material. The scale of the war makes it difficult for the men to fully understand, and it makes them uninformed pawns in a game far too large to be seen from ground-level.
Part 1) Cite examples from the book to explain how the author establishes the size and scale of the war.
Part 2) Discuss the impact of the scale of the war on the men of Bertrand's squad.
Part 3) Based on information in the book, and in particular the analysis of logical men like Cocon and Bertrand, speculate about the factors that contribute to the necessity of the large force sizes seen in the novel.
This section contains 1,027 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)