Going After Cacciato Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Tim O'Brien
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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 does Cacciato use as a walking stick in Chapter 25?

2. What item informs Third Squad that Cacciato has left Delhi in Chapter 26?

3. How long has Li Van Hgoc been sentenced to duty in the tunnel?

4. What is the ratio of support personnel to combat personnel in Chu Lai?

5. What does Paul Berlin's host in Chapter 27 tell him he does not have?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Cacciato toy with the Third Squad in this chapter?

2. Why do living circumstances become awkward for Third Squad in Delhi?

3. How does the Squad figure out that they are on the same train that Cacciato took?

4. What finally prods Third Squad to consider killing Sidney Martin?

5. How does Paul Berlin succeed in keeping Sarkin Aung Wan with Third Squad?

6. What decision does Paul Berlin make at the observation tower in Chapter 8?

7. How do two men from Third Squad die in Chapter 9?

8. What surprise announcement does the Lieutenant make to Third Squad in Chapter 26?

9. Why do Stink Harris and Bernie Lynn have a falling out?

10. What does Paul Berlin hope regarding Cacciato?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Three times over the course of the Cacciato pursuit, Third Squad escapes certain death with little or no explanation as to how their salvation came about. Write an essay about these instances and what they say about the nature of the Cacciato war story:

Part 1) What does the Squad discover in the VC tunnels on the Vietnam-Laos border? How does this experience inform Paul Berlin's understanding of the enemy, and how - in the end - does Third Squad escape the tunnels? Where do they emerge?

Part 2) How does Third Squad nearly die in Tehran? What eventually saves them, and to what extent do these rescuing agents seem to appear out of Paul Berlin's mind?

Part 3) Which member of Third Squad disappears when the ocean-liner to Greece is suddenly searched? How do the remaining men manage to escape what seems like an inescapable situation?

Essay Topic 2

Going After Cacciato, as a novel, is the dueling of two narratives. One, the story of Cacciato's flight to Paris, is beautiful, meaningful, and false. The other, the story of Sidney Martin's murder, is nihilistic, sad, and sadly factual. It is a war story that cannot be told. Write an essay about the dynamic of between these two stories. Why does one necessitate the creation of the other? Why is the latter entirely unsatisfactory as a story? Does it have any substantive lesson to teach?

Essay Topic 3

There are two Paul Berlins in Going After Cacciato: the weak-willed bad soldier of the real chapters, and the one that presses onward and gets the girl in the Cacciato story. Write an essay comparing these two. How does the protagonist of the novel reinvent himself in half the chapters? How does this reinvention help him deal with his desperate shortcomings in the other half of the novel? TO what extent is the second Paul Berlin a defense for the first?

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