Going After Cacciato Test | Final Test - Hard

Tim O'Brien
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 129 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. Which European river do the men cross at the end of Chapter 40?

2. According to Paul Berlin in Chapter 37, where are most booby traps located?

3. Who makes of up the phrase "The World's Greatest Lake Country?"

4. How does Cacciato finally answer Paul Berlin's plea to agree to the murder?

5. What cause of death does Doc Peret give for Billy Boy Watkins?

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 does Buff's body look like when Cacciato finds it in Chapter 41?

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

4. Why does the Squad occasionally march down trails likely to be booby trapped?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are two Paul Berlins in Going After Cacciato: the weak-willed bad soldier of the real chapters, and the one that presses onward and gets the girl in the Cacciato story. Write an essay comparing these two. How does the protagonist of the novel reinvent himself in half the chapters? How does this reinvention help him deal with his desperate shortcomings in the other half of the novel? TO what extent is the second Paul Berlin a defense for the first?

Essay Topic 2

Midway through Going After Cacciato, Paul Berlin states that a fellow soldier's death can only be classified as a fact. Write an essay on the topic of death in the novel. Is there such a thing as a good death or a bad death in O'Brien's universe or is all death equally meaningless? Is there any difference in the way the author presents Bernie Lynn's death and the execution in Tehran? Is there any intimation from Berlin that there may be something after death?

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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