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 does Third Squad discover in the mountains as they clear bodies in Chapter 27?

2. Which of the following names is not among the dead listed in the beginning of Chapter 1?

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

4. What animal were Paul Berlin and his father when they went to Indian Guides camp?

5. What bit of information does Oscar Johnson not give to Cacciato during their parlay?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Paul Berlin feel guilty for Frenchie Tucker and Bernie Lynn's deaths?

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

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

5. How does Paul Berlin lose Cacciato in Mandalay?

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

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

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

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

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

Going After Cacciato, as a novel, is the dueling of two narratives. One, the story of Cacciato's flight to Paris, is beautiful, meaningful, and false. The other, the story of Sidney Martin's murder, is nihilistic, sad, and sadly factual. It is a war story that cannot be told. Write an essay about the dynamic of between these two stories. Why does one necessitate the creation of the other? Why is the latter entirely unsatisfactory as a story? Does it have any substantive lesson to teach?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Three times over the course of the Cacciato pursuit, Third Squad escapes certain death with little or no explanation as to how their salvation came about. Write an essay about these instances and what they say about the nature of the Cacciato war story:

Part 1) What does the Squad discover in the VC tunnels on the Vietnam-Laos border? How does this experience inform Paul Berlin's understanding of the enemy, and how - in the end - does Third Squad escape the tunnels? Where do they emerge?

Part 2) How does Third Squad nearly die in Tehran? What eventually saves them, and to what extent do these rescuing agents seem to appear out of Paul Berlin's mind?

Part 3) Which member of Third Squad disappears when the ocean-liner to Greece is suddenly searched? How do the remaining men manage to escape what seems like an inescapable situation?

(see the answer keys)

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