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. Where does Third Squad determine it has to bring Cacciato to avoid being labeled deserters?

2. Who does Lieutenant Corson tell Paul Berlin to look out for when the latter says he will be staying in Paris?

3. How does Cacciato characterize the death of Sidney Martin in Chapter 36?

4. Who finally makes the move to steal the van for the girl driving?

5. With what word does Paul Berlin describe Billy Boy Watkins' death in Chapter 32?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe the girl from California in Chapter 40.

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

7. What lesson does Oscar Johnson declare should be learned from Buff's death?

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. Describe Captain Rhallon.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One recurring theme throughout the full Tim O'Brien cannon is the war story. Write an essay about the idea of the war story and its function in the world of the combat serviceman. How is the war story a form of first-aid to the traumatized soldier? When do the characters in the novel bust out their well-developed war stories? How are war stories that are, perhaps, the least factual also the most truthful? Do they add meaning to the meaningless violence of war?

Essay Topic 2

O'Brien juxtaposes the elegant, surprising and deeply thematic story of Cacciato's flight to Paris with the banal and meaningless true stories of various deaths in Third Squad.

Write an essay about the meaninglessness of battle, focusing on three squad deaths. How do these men die? Is it for a great cause? How does the squad respond to their deaths, and what lessons are learned from their passing?

Part 1) Bernie Lynn and Frenchie Tucker

Part 2) Buff

Part 3) Sidney Martin

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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