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 is the most upset by the act, and wants to know why the villager is behaving that way?

2. How does Rat Kiley deal with the mission at first?

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

4. How does the narrator find relief from his feelings about the war?

5. Who was the first person Tim grieved for their death?

Short Essay Questions

1. Contrast the two times Tim was shot.

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

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

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

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

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

7. What is Norman's assessment of his valor and bravery?

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

9. Do you agree with Kiowa or Tim's point of view about the kill? Why?

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

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

The chapter titled "How to Tell a True War Story," gives very specific advice on what constitutes a war story and how lessons or morals should be pulled from a war story by the listener. Using the principles in this chapter given by the author, analyze any of the war stories told in another chapter of the book "The Things They Carried." Be sure to identify the main components of the war story, and how the war story complies or deviates from the principles in the chapter "How to Tell a True War Story."

Essay Topic 3

The "Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong" addresses the theme of acceptance and persons becoming a product of their environment. Explain the transformation Mary Anne Bell goes through from her arrival in Vietnam until her ultimate disappearance, and compare it to some other experience of characters or real-life people becoming the product of their environment.

(see the answer keys)

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