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

2. In the latrine in Chapter 4, whose name does Paul Berlin see written on the wall?

3. What east of burden does Stink Harris shoot in Chapter 6?

4. In Chapter 9, why does Sidney Martin send Bernie Lynn into the tunnel?

5. Which of the following is not an activity that Sarkin Aung Wan and Paul Berlin do to pass the time in Delhi?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Lieutenant Corson.

3. How does Third Squad end up on a cart with three Vietnamese women in Chapter 6?

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

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

6. How does the quiet of the village in Chapter 16 become insidious?

7. What difficulty arises when Lieutenant Corson tries to leave Li Van Hgoc's tunnel in Chapter 15?

8. Describe some ways that the men of the Paul Berlin's platoon organize themselves.

9. How does Sidney Martin aggravate Third Squad in Chapter 25?

10. In what state is Pederson on the day he dies?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The action of Going After Cacciato is characterized by long stretches of quiet and peace punctuated by by moments of sudden frenzy and violent panic. Write an essay about the dynamic between quiet and panic, in three parts:

Part 1) Why does Third Squad stop dead in its tracks when it arrives in Delhi? How is Lieutenant Corson affected by the peace of the region, and how do the other men respond? What finally breaks the quiet?

Part 2) How does Paul Berlin settle into Paris life more completely than the rest of the Squad? How does he nearly forget about the War entirely? What finally breaks the quiet?

Part 3) Write a paragraph about the silent village the Squad happens upon? How does the quiet drive the men of Third Squad to the breaking point? What finally breaks the quiet?

Essay Topic 2

O'Brien juxtaposes the elegant, surprising and deeply thematic story of Cacciato's flight to Paris with the banal and meaningless true stories of various deaths in Third Squad.

Write an essay about the meaninglessness of battle, focusing on three squad deaths. How do these men die? Is it for a great cause? How does the squad respond to their deaths, and what lessons are learned from their passing?

Part 1) Bernie Lynn and Frenchie Tucker

Part 2) Buff

Part 3) Sidney Martin

Essay Topic 3

Throughout Going After Cacciato, both the author and the characters in the novel debate the reasons for American involvement in Vietnam. Write an essay about American interventionism, focusing on three instances in the narrative:

Part 1) In Tehran, Third Squad sits down for a drink with Captain Rhallon of the Iranian Savak. Why does he think America is having such a difficult time in Vietnam? How does Doc Peret respond to Rhallon's theory?

Part 2) Write a paragraph about Paul Berlin's promotion review for Spec Four. What reason does the unnamed major give for America's involvement in Vietnam? How does Paul Berlin respond to this?

Part 3) What hypothetical conversation does Paul Berlin hold with the young crying girl in a village Third Squad burned? What does he want to tell her about his reasons for coming to fight in her homeland?

(see the answer keys)

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