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. After what mid-west American town is the hotel where Third Squad checks in in Mandalay named?

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

3. At what is Pederson shooting as he dies in the paddy?

4. What action is Sarkin Aung Wan doing in Chapter 17 when Paul Berlin explains to her that they must catch Cacciato before going to Paris?

5. In Chapter 8, who is supposed to relieve Paul Berlin of his post?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Cacciato toy with the Third Squad in this chapter?

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

6. How does the quiet of the village in Chapter 16 become insidious?

7. What are Sidney Martin's values regarding war as described in Chapter 25?

8. What surprise announcement does the Lieutenant make to Third Squad in Chapter 26?

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

10. What news does Doc Peret deliver to Lieutenant Corson at the beginning of the novel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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