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

2. What appliance did Doc Peret disassemble as a child?

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

4. What impeding event occurs as the Third Squad crosses the river into Laos?

5. Which of the following is an unofficial SOP mentioned in Chapter 4?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What does Paul Berlin hope regarding Cacciato?

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

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

10. How does Paul Berlin lose Cacciato in Mandalay?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the longer narrative of Going After Cacciato, Paul Berlin invents a number of figures that do not exist.

Write an essay about three of these figures. What function do they serve in the story? Do they stem from any real experience that Paul Berlin has? What do they say about the political or spiritual realities of the Vietnam War?

Part 1) Jolly Chand

Part 2) Captain Rhallon

Part 3) Sarkin Aung Wan

Essay Topic 2

In many ways, Going After Cacciato is a rumination on the idea of desertion. Paul Berlin longs to walk away from the war, and his fantasy of Cacciato's flight to Paris offers him a window into a desertion scenario. Write an essay about the agonized decision to desert, focusing on three moments in the novel:

Part 1) Why do the men of Third Squad choose to hold a vote on whether to continue the pursuit after they cross into Laos? What arguments are made, and who among the Squad cannot brook the idea of continuing on?

Part 2) When Third Squad is arrested for desertion in Tehran, how does Doc Peret defend them to Captain Rhallon? Why do they personally believe that they have not abandoned their greater mission?

Part 3) Sum up the Paris debate held between Sarkin Aung Wan and Paul Berlin. How does Paul Berlin defend his decision not to leave Third Squad? What temptation does he overcome?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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