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 source of light gave away the platoon's position?

2. What is the person they meet doing in the middle of a burned house?

3. What question of Kathleen's does Tim have a hard time finding an answer to?

4. How does Rat Kiley ensure a ticket home?

5. What is wrong with the field that Lt. Cross selects as the campsite that night?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What does the dancing girl symbolize to you?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are many places where the concepts of right and wrong are blurred in the pages of "The Things They Carried." Ideas of draft dodging, self-inflicted wounds, disrespecting the dead, and even theft are handled with lightness. What do you think the narrator/author is trying to say about the morality of war? Chose a couple of instances in the text where conventional morality is disregarded, and explain the purpose of this device to influence the reader.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

"The Things They Carried" is very specific about the items the men carried into battle. Choose three significant objects and explain who they belong to, why it was considered important, and what the object represented for the soldier and the reader.

(see the answer keys)

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