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Free Study Guide-The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien-Free Book Notes
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STUDY QUESTIONS / QUIZ

1) When Mark Fossie brings his girlfriend over to Vietnam, what happens to her?
a) She takes one look at the camp and goes back home.
b) A sniper in the village kills her.
c) She goes out on ambush with the Green Berets.
d) She enlists as a nurse.

2) Who straps a puppy to a claymore device and detonates it?
a) Azar
b) Rat Kiley
c) Norman Bowker
d) Dave Lemon

3) When Norman returns home from Vietnam, what does he do all day?
a) Read war memoirs
b) Cruise around the lake in his truck.
c) Pretend to be asleep.
d) Argue with his father about getting a job.

4) How does Dave Jensen eventually make peace with Lee Strunk?
a) Gives back the jackknife.
b) Takes his turn at sentry duty.
c) Saves his life in an ambush
d) Breaks his own nose with a pistol.


5) When O’Brien receives his draft notice, what does he do?
a) Burns the draft card.
b) Applies for an exemption.
c) Drives north towards Canada.
d) Enlists in the National Guard.

6) What gave away the platoon’s position that night in the muddy field?
a) A soldier turns on his flashlight.
b) The villagers informed the Viet Cong.
c) Their guide was a Viet Cong spy.
d) Azar left his radio on.

7) How does the story about Linda, O’Brien’s nine-year-old girlfriend, relate to the rest of the novel?
a) Asking Linda to the dance took a rare form of courage.
b) He carried Linda’s letter with him during the war.
c) It’s an example of how stories can briefly bring the dead back to life.
d) O’Brien writes and asks her to come to Vietnam.

8) Why is O’Brien so upset with Bobby Jorgensen?
a) Jorgensen accidentally shoots him.
b) Jorgensen forgets to treat him for shock.
c) He gets special privileges because his dad is a General.
d) Jorgensen steals his jackknife.

9) Why is Dobbins angry when Azar mocks the little girl’s dance?
a) Azar is supposed to be on guard duty.
b) Azar dances inside the a sacred Buddhist temple
c) The little girl’s family was just killed.
d) Dobbins is trying to learn Vietnamese cultural dance

10) Which story symbolizes a rebirth for O’Brien, when he is finally able to let go of the bitterness and pain of the war?
a) His visit to Kiowa in a long-term care facility
b) The practical joke on Bobby Jorgensen.
c) The remembrance of Linda’s death.
d) His return to Vietnam and the field.

11) What happened to O’Brien’s childhood sweetheart?
a) She died of a brain tumor.
b) She fell in love with his best friend.
c) She moved to another state.
d) She came to visit him in Vietnam.

12) What is the defining characteristic of a ‘true’ war story?
a) It relies on objectivity.
b) It makes the stomach believe.
c) A witness tells it.
d) Blood and guts realism.

13) Why does O’Brien consider himself a coward for going to Vietnam?
a) He gets a cushy job as a journalist.
b) He tries to secure an exemption for graduate school.
c) It is against his conscience as a pacifist.
d) His parents threaten to disown him unless he enlists.

14) Why does Rat Kiley begin to hallucinate prior to his departure to Japan?
a) His best friend Curt Lemon dies.
b) He receives no response to a heartfelt letter.
c) The platoon goes on night patrol for two weeks.
d) He develops an addiction to morphine.

15) Which of the following stories illustrates how a grudge is more destructive to the person who is carrying it?
a) The prank on Bobby Jorgensen.
b) O’Brien’s experience on the Rainy River.
c) The feud between Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen.
d) Norman Bowker circling the lake.

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