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 an unofficial SOP mentioned in Chapter 4?

2. 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?

3. What item does Jolly Chand serve Third Squad in Chapter 23 that upsets her husband?

4. At what town does Lieutenant Corson decide to cut off Cacciato in Chapter 10?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do living circumstances become awkward for Third Squad in Delhi?

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

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

5. In what state is Pederson on the day he dies?

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

7. Describe Lieutenant Corson.

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

9. How does Paul Berlin lose Cacciato in Mandalay?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are two Paul Berlins in Going After Cacciato: the weak-willed bad soldier of the real chapters, and the one that presses onward and gets the girl in the Cacciato story. Write an essay comparing these two. How does the protagonist of the novel reinvent himself in half the chapters? How does this reinvention help him deal with his desperate shortcomings in the other half of the novel? TO what extent is the second Paul Berlin a defense for the first?

Essay Topic 2

In the longer narrative of Going After Cacciato, Paul Berlin invents a number of figures that do not exist.

Write an essay about three of these figures. What function do they serve in the story? Do they stem from any real experience that Paul Berlin has? What do they say about the political or spiritual realities of the Vietnam War?

Part 1) Jolly Chand

Part 2) Captain Rhallon

Part 3) Sarkin Aung Wan

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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