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. What did Tim use to kill the man on the trail?

2. What question does Tim's daughter ask him?

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

4. What landmark was Tim able to recognize in the field where Kiowa died, years later?

5. How did Tim get the idea for the chapter titled "Speaking of Courage?"

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Rat Kiley cope with the difficult mission of up all night, and sleeping during the day?

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

5. What is unique about the movements required of Alpha Company for this chapter's mission?

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

7. Who does Tim go on a trip with and where do they go?

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

9. How do Henry Dobbins and Azar disagree about the girl's motive to dance?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Can you identify with Kathleen's struggle to understand the war? She asks in the chapter titled "Field Trip" why her father had to fight in the Vietnam War, and what made everyone mad at each other? Do you think wars are generally started over clear issues of disagreement? In either case, do you think that affects the ability of the war to have a resolution?

Essay Topic 3

Although the book is labeled "a work of fiction," it reads very similar to a memoir- a recollection of events and people from the author's past. Explain any indications that Tim O'Brien may not be a trustworthy narrator. Where in the text are there signs he is leaving something out, or passages where the reader should second-guess his account? Are there particular passages where a reader may be more likely to believe O'Brien's narrative? Use no less than three specific areas of text to evaluate Tim O'Brien as a reliable or unreliable narrator.

(see the answer keys)

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