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. Which item doubled as a body bag?

2. How does Tim join the army?

3. What does Elroy do to tempt Tim to run away?

4. "Hump it" means what?

5. What part of Lee Strunk's body is broken?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Give examples of how the men dealt with death.

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

7. How does Norman Bowker ultimately cope with returning home?

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

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

10. How is Norma Bowker's life before the war and after the war contrasted?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The chapter titled "How to Tell a True War Story," gives very specific advice on what constitutes a war story and how lessons or morals should be pulled from a war story by the listener. Using the principles in this chapter given by the author, analyze any of the war stories told in another chapter of the book "The Things They Carried." Be sure to identify the main components of the war story, and how the war story complies or deviates from the principles in the chapter "How to Tell a True War Story."

Essay Topic 3

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."

(see the answer keys)

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