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. Why does Doc declare the Nazis and Japanese lost World War II?

2. Early in his arrival, Paul Berlin is warned by another soldier not to do what in regarding a paddy?

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

4. In what country is the liner docked when it is searched by police in this chapter?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe Cacciato in Chapter 31.

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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