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. Which member of Third Squad was killed when Sidney Martin called for an advance on the enemy in the mountains?

2. Who is the first person that Doc Peret toasts in Chapter 18?

3. In Chapter 27, what assumption about himself does Paul Berlin acknowledge is true?

4. When do the the events of Chapter 2 occur in relation to Chapter 1?

5. What finally breaks the unnerving calm at the end of Chapter 16?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why can the Mayor of Ovissil not read Paul Berlin's history?

2. What is the result of Chapter 3's vote?

3. What plans does Paul Berlin make for his return home in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

7. Describe Lieutenant Corson.

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

9. What are Sidney Martin's values regarding war as described in Chapter 25?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay detailing how Third Squad is a microcosm for the functional military as a whole, focusing on three allegorical characters and how the rest of the Squad relates to them:

Part 1) Lieutenant Sidney Martin represents the unquestioned mission-focused structure of the military. How is his conception of Vietnam dangerous to his men and incompatible with reality? How does Third Squad respond to him?

Part 2) How Oscar Johnson a response to Sidney Martin? Does he represent unofficial standard operating procedure? In what ways is he the most powerful figure in Third Squad as a result?

Part 3) If Martin and Johnson represent the most unyielding of war, how does Doc Peret represent the flexible compassion that combat engenders? What actions does he take that illustrate this?

Essay Topic 2

Going After Cacciato is a mixture of fantasy and harsh reality, and the way in which Tim O'Brien interweaves these is as daring as any of the battles in the story.

Write an essay, in which you focus on three moments when fact and fantasy intersect. How does O'Brien make clear to the reader that he is shifting between these two planes? Where do these connections happen, and what characters do they involve?

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?

(see the answer keys)

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