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. What is another name for a land mine?

2. What did Lt. Cross keep under his tongue?

3. Where does Tim consider running to?

4. "If you weren't humping, you were __________."

5. What item owned by Dave Jensen is missing?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Henry Dobbins' tentative plans for after the war?

2. Why do you think Martha never married?

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

4. Why do the men like checkers?

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

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

7. Why was Curt Lemon afraid of the dentist?

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

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

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

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

Explain Lieutenant Cross's responsibility or perceived responsibility in the various deaths of his men. How does he react to each one? Do his actions live up to his words and thoughts of improvement as a leader?

Essay Topic 3

If you were Tim writing a letter to his daughter Kathleen, either at her age now or the age she is in the book, what would be the most important aspects of your experiences in the war that you would want to share with her and teach her about the world?

(see the answer keys)

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