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. Where does Paul Berlin decide he will take a flat when he moves to Paris after the war?

2. In Chapter 4, the author indicates that the Squad organizes themselves by all of the following bases except which?

3. What action is Sarkin Aung Wan doing in Chapter 17 when Paul Berlin explains to her that they must catch Cacciato before going to Paris?

4. In Chapter 14, why is Frenchie Tucker about to leave the front when he is shot?

5. What race does Doc Peret say is evident in Cacciato's appearance?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Sarkin Aung Wan react to Paul Berlin's description of their mission?

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

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

6. Why does Third Squad need to leave Delhi in Chapter 26?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One recurring theme throughout the full Tim O'Brien cannon is the war story. Write an essay about the idea of the war story and its function in the world of the combat serviceman. How is the war story a form of first-aid to the traumatized soldier? When do the characters in the novel bust out their well-developed war stories? How are war stories that are, perhaps, the least factual also the most truthful? Do they add meaning to the meaningless violence of war?

Essay Topic 2

Paul Berlin is clearly a surrogate for Tim O'Brien in Going After Cacciato, developing the narrative as it is happening. Write an essay analyzing the storyteller role of Paul Berlin in the novel. How is Berlin's greatest weakness his tendency to self-mythologize? Is the central narrative of the novel, in fact, a massive self-delusion? In the end, is the creation of this delusion something beautiful, alarming, or both?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay charting the progression of Oscar Johnson. How does he begin as a sympathetic figure - a man who cares for the safety of Third Squad - and slowly become a major antagonist to Paul Berlin? What does Oscar care for primarily? How are his grievances against the cavalier Sidney Martin similar to his grievances against the incompetent and deluded Paul Berlin?

(see the answer keys)

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