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. Martha became a trained __________.

2. Who are the men order to see?

3. Which item doubled as a body bag?

4. Where is Lee Strunk when Dave Jensen shows his broken nose?

5. How does Jimmy ask Tim to portray him in the book he is writing?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Lieutenant Cross resolve his responsibility in Ted Lavender's death?

2. How did things start when Mary Anne first arrived, and how did they change?

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

4. How does the incident of the broken noses affect the relationship between Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk?

5. How would you describe Martha's "separate-but-together quality" her and Lieutenant Cross share? What does she send to represent this quality?

6. When Lee Strunk returns from sick bay, how does Dave Jensen react?

7. How does Curt Lemon recover from his personal failure at the dentist?

8. Why do Jimmy Cross and Tim O'Brien stop drinking coffee, and what do they switch to?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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.

Essay Topic 2

"The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction" is described as 22 short stories tied into a novel. Select a chapter from the novel and explain how the title relates to the story, and evaluate if the chapter could stand alone as a short story. Identify its weaknesses and strengths and how it fulfills or fails to satisfy the requirements of a story: beginning, middle and end.

Essay Topic 3

The "Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong" addresses the theme of acceptance and persons becoming a product of their environment. Explain the transformation Mary Anne Bell goes through from her arrival in Vietnam until her ultimate disappearance, and compare it to some other experience of characters or real-life people becoming the product of their environment.

(see the answer keys)

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