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. At the end of Chapter 40, Paul Berlin reasons that the root goal or the Vietnam War is to spread what?

2. What principality is Third Squad in at the beginning of Chapter 43?

3. What did Paul Berlin consider majoring in when he thought of attending the University of Iowa?

4. What holiday does Third Squad celebrate in Tehran?

5. To what movie player of villains does Stink Harris compare the executed man?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What news does Captain Rhallon bring Third Squad at the end of Chapter 33?

3. How does Paul Berlin feel about death in Chapter 32?

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

5. Describe Sarkin Aung Wan and Paul Berlin's debate in Chapter 44.

6. Why does Stink Harris jump off the ship at the end of Chapter 38?

7. How does Third Squad manage to depart the ocean liner at the beginning of Chapter 40?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the juxtaposition of the two Lieutenants of the novel. What does Sidney Martin value above all int he War, and what does Lieutenant Corson value? How does the difference in age between these two men lead to these differing values? Explore the way the men of Third Squad respond to these two men. Which is beloved by the men and which is merely obeyed for a period?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Throughout Going After Cacciato, both the author and the characters in the novel debate the reasons for American involvement in Vietnam. Write an essay about American interventionism, focusing on three instances in the narrative:

Part 1) In Tehran, Third Squad sits down for a drink with Captain Rhallon of the Iranian Savak. Why does he think America is having such a difficult time in Vietnam? How does Doc Peret respond to Rhallon's theory?

Part 2) Write a paragraph about Paul Berlin's promotion review for Spec Four. What reason does the unnamed major give for America's involvement in Vietnam? How does Paul Berlin respond to this?

Part 3) What hypothetical conversation does Paul Berlin hold with the young crying girl in a village Third Squad burned? What does he want to tell her about his reasons for coming to fight in her homeland?

(see the answer keys)

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