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 item owned by Dave Jensen is missing?

2. In what year was the college reunion where Jimmy Cross reunited with Martha?

3. How did Jimmy Cross get another photograph of Martha?

4. What year does Tim graduate college?

5. What does Dave Jensen do with the pistol?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is so unbelievable about Rat Kiley's story?

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

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

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

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

7. How does Lee Strunk react to his injury?

8. What would you guess happened during the war that Jimmy asked Tim to leave out of his book?

9. Explain how the rhyme "Step out of line, hit a mine; follow the dink, you're in the pink." changed meanings?

10. What is Henry's reaction to his girlfriend dumping him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As a new book critic for a top national newspaper, you have just been assigned the novel "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. Give a full critique of the story and evaluation of the text for other potential readers. What is significant about the novel that makes it a good recommendation for readers? What detracts from the novel's appeal and makes it not a book you would recommend? Finally, is there any way the book ties into modern life and current events to make it timely?

Essay Topic 2

We know very little about the character named Azar, but he appears always present to antagonize the other men in the platoon. Explain how Azar is a flat or round character, his role in the novel, and if there are any other characters like him in "The Things They Carried."

Essay Topic 3

The story of Kiowa's death is told from at least two different point of views. Using all textual evidence and your own assumptions, what do you think really happened? What was the role of Norman Bowker, Lieutenant Cross, and Tim O'Brien? Who is the most responsible for Kiowa's death?

(see the answer keys)

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