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. Who is the boyfriend of Mary Anne Bell?

2. Where is Martha a student?

3. What is one thing Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk are NOT described as doing together?

4. Before going out on ambush patrol, what does Henry Dobbins wrap around his neck?

5. What item owned by Dave Jensen is missing?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do the men like checkers?

3. Why does Rat Kiley write a letter to Curt Lemon's sister, and what does the letter contain?

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

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

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

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

8. What was the story for Mitchell Sander's moral of "Nobody listens?"

9. Why do you think Curt's sister gives the response she does?

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

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 concept of truth is challenged repeatedly in "The Things They Carried." Men tell embellished stories, exaggerate their own lives, and even the narrator casts doubt as to the honesty of the stories contained within the novel. What are your thoughts about the truth of "The Things They Carried" and why? Are there places you feel the accounting is accurate, and other places where the story has been stretched and skewed? What textual evidence leads you to these conclusions?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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