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 almost killed Tim?

2. Who makes the decision to NOT alert Lt. Cross about finding the body?

3. Where is the first draft of the story inspired by Norman Bowker published?

4. What member of the platoon attempts to comfort Tim after he kills a man?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. How did the men recover Kiowa's body?

6. Contrast the two times Tim was shot.

7. What does the dancing girl symbolize to you?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 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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