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

2. What words does Paul Berlin state to himself without emotion as he watches Chapter 11's air-strike?

3. Which of the following is Paul Berlin shocked not to see on the mountain road in Chapter 25?

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

5. What proclamation does Doc Peret repeatedly make as the squad travels on the cart?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Third Squad intensify its search for Cacciato in Chapter 44?

2. What does Paul Berlin hope regarding Cacciato?

3. What is Oscar Johnson's attitude toward Paul Berlin in this chapter?

4. Why does the Squad occasionally march down trails likely to be booby trapped?

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

6. How does Paul Berlin return to reality in Chapter 46?

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

8. How does the search for Cacciato end, in reality?

9. Why does the Squad take a vote on whether to continue pursuing Cacciato in Chapter 3?

10. Describe Sarkin Aung Wan and Paul Berlin's debate in Chapter 44.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 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?

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