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. Because he is a coward, what does Tim do?

2. Who shares the story of the girlfriend in Vietnam?

3. What does Rat Kiley do first to the baby water buffalo?

4. How did the jackknife incident change the relationship between Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk?

5. Who was excused from tunnel duty due to size?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Who did you think was the victim as you read the chapter, and who did you think was the victim once you finished it? Why?

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

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

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

9. What puts the death pact to the test? Be specific.

10. Why do you think Martha never married?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Most novels have critic blurbs on the cover or in media advertising for the book. Choose one critic's blurb about "The Things They Carried" and respond to the quote. Do you agree or disagree with the critic's assessment of the novel, and where is there evidence in the novel to support your point of view?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the war stories in "The Things They Carried," the men carry and discuss a certain superstition for luck. Detail places in the novel where luck is given importance, and explore its role in explaining the events happening around the platoon. How do the men treat the concept of luck? How does the narrator/author wish the reader to interpret luck as it applies to the various characters?

Essay Topic 3

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."

(see the answer keys)

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