Going After Cacciato Short Essay - Answer Key

Tim O'Brien
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1. Describe Lieutenant Corson.

Lieutenant Corson is, even by his own estimation, too old to be leading a platoon in Vietnam. He is middle-aged and clearly past the point of advancement to the upper military echelon. Corson is brought in to lead the platoon after the much younger Lieutenant Sidney Martin. He is lethargic, cautious and remote as he suffers from dysentery.

2. What news does Doc Peret deliver to Lieutenant Corson at the beginning of the novel?

In the first moments of the novel, Doc Peret delivers the news to Lieutenant Corson that Cacciato has gone AWOL. Evidently, before wandering into the jungle, Cacciato told Paul Berlin that he intends to walk to Paris, even giving him the route he will follow.

3. What does Paul Berlin hope regarding Cacciato?

As Third Squad begins following Cacciato into the jungle, Paul Berlin begins to illogically consider the possibility that the AWOL soldier will actually make it to Paris. He loves the idea that the Squad, too, will end up in France at the end of this pursuit.

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