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. In Tim's imagination, what village is the man he killed from?

2. Who does Tim blame for his near-death experience?

3. By what area of the body does Norman Bowker attempt to pull the body out of the muck?

4. How did the old farmer react to Tim?

5. Where did Tim and Linda go on a date?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the dancing girl symbolize to you?

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

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

4. What happens to Tim after he kills the man in the path with a grenade?

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

6. What important information does the reader learn about the story in the preceding chapter?

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

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

9. What two types of truth are there for the author and reader?

10. What is the main struggle for the narrator/author in the chapter "Good Form?"

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

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 3

The story of Kiowa's death is told from at least two different point of views. Using all textual evidence and your own assumptions, what do you think really happened? What was the role of Norman Bowker, Lieutenant Cross, and Tim O'Brien? Who is the most responsible for Kiowa's death?

(see the answer keys)

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