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. After his first episode with the dentist, what did Curt Lemon do?

2. Which is not a benefit of being stationed in the area?

3. Where does he stop before crossing the border?

4. Where is the listening patrol positioned?

5. "A true war story, if truly told, makes the ____________ believe."

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Explain your thoughts on this quote: "I was a coward. I went to war."

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Can you identify with Kathleen's struggle to understand the war? She asks in the chapter titled "Field Trip" why her father had to fight in the Vietnam War, and what made everyone mad at each other? Do you think wars are generally started over clear issues of disagreement? In either case, do you think that affects the ability of the war to have a resolution?

(see the answer keys)

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