The Things They Carried Test | Final 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 do the platoon meet in the village?

2. What activity does Norman Bowker do to avoid his troubles?

3. What medal did Norman Bowker almost win?

4. What color clothes was the man wearing when Tim killed him?

5. What was Norman Bowker's chief criticism of the first draft of "Speaking of Courage?"

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain who feels blame for Kiowa's death.

2. What does the dancing girl symbolize to you?

3. How does Tim react to Bobby Jorgenson's failings as a medic?

4. How is Norma Bowker's life before the war and after the war contrasted?

5. What is the purpose of the visit to the battlefield where Kiowa was killed?

6. Contrast the two times Tim was shot.

7. What was Tim's first experience with death?

8. How does Norman Bowker ultimately cope with returning home?

9. What does Tim invent about the man he killed?

10. What power do stories have for people dealing with death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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."

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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