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 does he call the object around his neck?

2. What does Rat Kiley do to treat Lee Strunk's injury?

3. Where is Tim's first job after college?

4. How is Lee Strunk medically treated?

5. What is Dave Jensen worried about?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Lee Strunk react to his injury?

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

6. What is so unbelievable about Rat Kiley's story?

7. Why do Jimmy Cross and Tim O'Brien stop drinking coffee, and what do they switch to?

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

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

10. Why do the men like checkers?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As a new book critic for a top national newspaper, you have just been assigned the novel "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. Give a full critique of the story and evaluation of the text for other potential readers. What is significant about the novel that makes it a good recommendation for readers? What detracts from the novel's appeal and makes it not a book you would recommend? Finally, is there any way the book ties into modern life and current events to make it timely?

Essay Topic 2

Identify and analyze how we can tell the author has cleaned up or edited the story in one of the following cases: Curt Lemon going trick-or-treating on Halloween, the death of Kiowa, the story of Morty Phillips, the story of the sweetheart of Song Tra Bong. What additional details can the reader assume from the information contained in the text? What was likely to be the 'truth' ?

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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