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 does the girl in the van think must be the worst part of going to war?

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

3. According to Doc Peret in Chapter 29, what is the root of Lieutenant Corson's illness?

4. What did Billy Boy and the others do to pass the time on the afternoon he died?

5. The street the Squad takes to escape Tehran is named after what American President?

Short Essay Questions

1. What argument does Captain Rhallon make in Chapter 29 regarding the importance of a well-respected mission in War?

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

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

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

5. Describe the girl from California in Chapter 40.

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay charting the progression of Oscar Johnson. How does he begin as a sympathetic figure - a man who cares for the safety of Third Squad - and slowly become a major antagonist to Paul Berlin? What does Oscar care for primarily? How are his grievances against the cavalier Sidney Martin similar to his grievances against the incompetent and deluded Paul Berlin?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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