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. Why does Sidney Martin take so long to get air support after the tunnel attacks?

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

3. In Chapter 16, what do the men start doing to pass time during a period of relative quiet?

4. What does Paul Berlin plan to stop doing after the war is over?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the hypothetical conversation Paul Berlin imagines with the young girl in hoop earrings.

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

3. Describe Captain Rhallon.

4. How does Third Squad escape execution in Chapter 36?

5. In Chapter 31, what haunting event happens to Paul Berlin on his first day in the mountains?

6. What public event does Third Squad witness in Chapter 29?

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

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

9. What argument does Captain Rhallon make in Chapter 29 regarding the importance of a well-respected mission in War?

10. What does Paul Berlin hope regarding Cacciato?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

O'Brien juxtaposes the elegant, surprising and deeply thematic story of Cacciato's flight to Paris with the banal and meaningless true stories of various deaths in Third Squad.

Write an essay about the meaninglessness of battle, focusing on three squad deaths. How do these men die? Is it for a great cause? How does the squad respond to their deaths, and what lessons are learned from their passing?

Part 1) Bernie Lynn and Frenchie Tucker

Part 2) Buff

Part 3) Sidney Martin

Essay Topic 2

The action of Going After Cacciato is characterized by long stretches of quiet and peace punctuated by by moments of sudden frenzy and violent panic. Write an essay about the dynamic between quiet and panic, in three parts:

Part 1) Why does Third Squad stop dead in its tracks when it arrives in Delhi? How is Lieutenant Corson affected by the peace of the region, and how do the other men respond? What finally breaks the quiet?

Part 2) How does Paul Berlin settle into Paris life more completely than the rest of the Squad? How does he nearly forget about the War entirely? What finally breaks the quiet?

Part 3) Write a paragraph about the silent village the Squad happens upon? How does the quiet drive the men of Third Squad to the breaking point? What finally breaks the quiet?

Essay Topic 3

Midway through Going After Cacciato, Paul Berlin states that a fellow soldier's death can only be classified as a fact. Write an essay on the topic of death in the novel. Is there such a thing as a good death or a bad death in O'Brien's universe or is all death equally meaningless? Is there any difference in the way the author presents Bernie Lynn's death and the execution in Tehran? Is there any intimation from Berlin that there may be something after death?

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