The Things They Carried Test | Mid-Book 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. How does the sister respond to Rat Kiley's letter?

2. What is Jimmy Cross's last request to Tim at the end chapter 2?

3. Where is the platoon at?

4. What profession did Henry Dobbins want to have in high school?

5. What did he do that night after he fainted in the dentist tent?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain your thoughts on this quote: "I was a coward. I went to war."

2. What puts the death pact to the test? Be specific.

3. Who does Tim go on a trip with and where do they go?

4. Explain why you think Dave Jensen is so upset someone stole from him.

5. What two types of truth are there for the author and reader?

6. How does Tim react to Bobby Jorgenson's failings as a medic?

7. How did Tim see Curt Lemon's personality?

8. How does the narrator feel about the war in Vietnam?

9. What does Dave Jensen do to make himself square with Lee Strunk?

10. Why do you think Martha never married?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Chronicle the beginning, growth, and ultimate end of the one of the following relationships: Curt Lemon/Rat Kiley; Dave Jensen/Lee Strunk. Be sure to explain how major and minor events affected the relationship, and how the surviving party handled the loss of a friend.

Essay Topic 2

There are many places where the concepts of right and wrong are blurred in the pages of "The Things They Carried." Ideas of draft dodging, self-inflicted wounds, disrespecting the dead, and even theft are handled with lightness. What do you think the narrator/author is trying to say about the morality of war? Chose a couple of instances in the text where conventional morality is disregarded, and explain the purpose of this device to influence the reader.

Essay Topic 3

"The Things They Carried" is very specific about the items the men carried into battle. Choose three significant objects and explain who they belong to, why it was considered important, and what the object represented for the soldier and the reader.

(see the answer keys)

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