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

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

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe Paul Berlin's call home in Chapter 24.

6. Where has Sarkin Aung Wan gone at the beginning of Chapter 46?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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