Going After Cacciato Test | Final Test - Hard

Tim O'Brien
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does Paul Berlin first spot Cacciato in Chapter 44?

2. In this chapter, of what does Oscar Johnson say Stink Johnson was full?

3. What holiday does Third Squad celebrate in Tehran?

4. What time is it at the end of Chapter 42?

5. Where does the girl say she has contacts that can help the soldiers escape military duty?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Paul Berlin is clearly a surrogate for Tim O'Brien in Going After Cacciato, developing the narrative as it is happening. Write an essay analyzing the storyteller role of Paul Berlin in the novel. How is Berlin's greatest weakness his tendency to self-mythologize? Is the central narrative of the novel, in fact, a massive self-delusion? In the end, is the creation of this delusion something beautiful, alarming, or both?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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