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. Who eventually searches the VC tunnel in Chapter 34?

2. Which of the following is not among the list of charges lodged against Third Squad?

3. What type of tree is Paul Berlin surprised to notice in Chapter 41?

4. Who nurses Lieutenant Corson back to health in Chapter 38?

5. What does Paul Berlin begin doing involuntarily as he lays awake in Chapter 31?

Short Essay Questions

1. What implied ultimatum does Sarkin Aung Wan make to Paul Berlin in Chapter 43?

2. What shift in power does Lieutenant Corson acknowledge as he speaks to Paul Berlin in Chapter 43?

3. Describe Captain Rhallon.

4. Describe Cacciato in Chapter 31.

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

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

7. How does Doc Peret get Third Squad out of trouble with Iranian authorities in Chapter 29?

8. Why does Cacciato require convincing regarding the Martin murder?

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

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

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

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

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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