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. What kind of wound qualified for a mercy kill?

2. "Hump it" means what?

3. Mitchell Sanders sent what in his letter to the Ohio Draft Board?

4. What memory forced the men to switch from coffee to gin?

5. What animal does the platoon run into after Curt Lemon's death?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How were Lieutenant Cross's tears misinterpreted after the death of Ted Lavender?

3. How are the terms of the death pact ultimately carried out?

4. Give an example of a stark contrast between how the men normally behave, and how the war changes their behavior.

5. What was Martha's response to Jimmy's confession about wanting to hold her knee?

6. Why was Curt Lemon afraid of the dentist?

7. Who was Elroy Berdahl and what is his significance to the narrator?

8. Why did the men have to see the dentist?

9. What happens to make the platoon believe in the good luck provided by the pantyhose?

10. What are Henry Dobbins' tentative plans for after the war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Most novels have critic blurbs on the cover or in media advertising for the book. Choose one critic's blurb about "The Things They Carried" and respond to the quote. Do you agree or disagree with the critic's assessment of the novel, and where is there evidence in the novel to support your point of view?

Essay Topic 2

Explain the moral you see in the story of Tim getting even with Bobby Jorgenson. How does the story handle the themes of revenge, forgiveness, and personal responsibility against the back drop of a war?

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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