Going After Cacciato Test | Final 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 form of public execution does the Squad attend in Chapter 29?

2. How long is Paul Berlin held in isolation after being arrested by the Iranian authorities?

3. What time is it in Chapter 32?

4. To whom does Oscar Johnson offer the big gun before giving it to Harold Murphy?

5. What does Captain Rhallon repeatedly say he would rather be doing than legal work?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Third Squad determine happens to Buff's big gun?

2. Why does Doc Peret have to admit to the Cacciato chase in Chapter 33?

3. Describe the girl from California in Chapter 40.

4. What lesson does Oscar Johnson declare should be learned from Buff's death?

5. How does Third Squad gain control of the VW van?

6. How does Paul Berlin characterize the true war stories he has in Chapter 42?

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

8. What does Paul Berlin rationalize is the essential purpose of the Vietnam War at the end of Chapter 40?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The narrative of the novel begins with the announcement that Cacciato, the simpleton, has set off into the jungle to walk to Paris. Although the men of Third Squad are annoyed, they do not question the impetus that drove Cacciato. Write an essay on Paris as a symbol in Going After Cacciato. Why does the idea of walking to Paris appeal to all of the men in the Squad? What does Paris represent to each of them, and what doe they find themselves doing once they arrive?

Essay Topic 2

In the character of Li Van Hgoc, O'Brien has created a complex portrait of the enemy for Third Squad to encounter, both a victim and perpetrator of Viet Cong cruelty.

Write an essay analyzing Li Van Hgoc and what O'Brien is saying about the nature of oppressive governance. How is Li Van Hgoc a threat to the safety of Third Squad, and why is he so kind and forthcoming? How does his faith illustrate the collective fate of the Vietnamese people in this cruel war?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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