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

2. Which of the following is not among the lessons Paul Berlin enumerates in Chapter 42?

3. In Chapter 45, what does Paul Berlin recall is the last word he ever said to Cacciato?

4. What item does Paul Berlin borrow from the sleeping Eddie in Chapter 30?

5. Which member of Third Squad jumps off the ship and disappears at the end of Chapter 38?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. How does Lieutenant Martin precipitate his own murder in Chapter 34?

8. What public event does Third Squad witness in Chapter 29?

9. How does Paul Berlin plan plan to cope with his fears in Chapter 31?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The action of Going After Cacciato is characterized by long stretches of quiet and peace punctuated by by moments of sudden frenzy and violent panic. Write an essay about the dynamic between quiet and panic, in three parts:

Part 1) Why does Third Squad stop dead in its tracks when it arrives in Delhi? How is Lieutenant Corson affected by the peace of the region, and how do the other men respond? What finally breaks the quiet?

Part 2) How does Paul Berlin settle into Paris life more completely than the rest of the Squad? How does he nearly forget about the War entirely? What finally breaks the quiet?

Part 3) Write a paragraph about the silent village the Squad happens upon? How does the quiet drive the men of Third Squad to the breaking point? What finally breaks the quiet?

Essay Topic 2

Going After Cacciato is a mixture of fantasy and harsh reality, and the way in which Tim O'Brien interweaves these is as daring as any of the battles in the story.

Write an essay, in which you focus on three moments when fact and fantasy intersect. How does O'Brien make clear to the reader that he is shifting between these two planes? Where do these connections happen, and what characters do they involve?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay detailing how Third Squad is a microcosm for the functional military as a whole, focusing on three allegorical characters and how the rest of the Squad relates to them:

Part 1) Lieutenant Sidney Martin represents the unquestioned mission-focused structure of the military. How is his conception of Vietnam dangerous to his men and incompatible with reality? How does Third Squad respond to him?

Part 2) How Oscar Johnson a response to Sidney Martin? Does he represent unofficial standard operating procedure? In what ways is he the most powerful figure in Third Squad as a result?

Part 3) If Martin and Johnson represent the most unyielding of war, how does Doc Peret represent the flexible compassion that combat engenders? What actions does he take that illustrate this?

(see the answer keys)

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