The Things They Carried–test review

question

Jimmy Cross
answer

First Lieutenant, platoon leader; carried letters from Martha and 2 photographs of her (one yearbook volleyball shot and the other she stood against a brick wall), compass, maps, code books, binoculars, .45-caliber-pistol, strobe light and responsibility for the lives of his men, good-luck pebble from Martha; in love with Martha
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Martha
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obsession of Jimmy Cross; junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey; english major; wrote beautifully; respect for Chaucer and great affection for Virginia Wolf; often quoted poetry; became Lutheran missionary, trained nurse, served in Ethiopia, Guatemala and Mexico, never married and never wanted to
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Henry Dobbins
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machine gunner; big man; carried extra rations (especially fond of canned peaches in heavy syrup over pound cake), M-60 and 10-15 lbs of ammunition draped in belts across his chest and shoulders, black flag insecticide, girlfriend’s pantyhose wrapped around his neck as a comforter; always excused from tunnel duty due to big size
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Dave Jenson
answer

practiced field hygiene; carried a toothbrush, dental floss, and several hotel-sized soap, 3 pairs of socks and can of Dr. Scholl’s foot powder, rabbit’s foot, empty sandbaags (filled for added protection), night-sight vitamins high in carotene, ear plugs
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Ted Lavender
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was scared; carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April and then carried in a poncho; carried 6 or 7 oz of premium dope, starlight scope; adopted an orphan puppy until Azar blew it up
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Mitchell Sanders
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RTO (radio telephone operator); carried condoms, PRC-25 radio, starched tiger fatigues (for special occasions), brass knuckles; tried to find a moral out of everything; once pryed off body lice, put them in blue USO envelope, sealed it up, wrote FREE in upper right-hand corner, addressed it to draft board in Ohio; tells stories (like man who hooks up with Red Cross nurse but got back into action because peace felt so good it hurt)
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Norman Bowker
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gentle person; carried a diary, thumb (gift from Mitchell Sanders; dark brown, rubbery to the touch, from 15-16 year old burned VC corpse); hates a silent Indian; wished his dad would write him a letter saying it’s ok if he doesn’t win any medals
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Rat Kiley
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medic; carried comic books, morphine, plasma, malaria tablets, surgical tape, M&M’s, brandy
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Kiowa
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Indian; devout Baptist; carried an illustrated New Testament from his father who taught Sunday school in OK City, OK; also carried grandmother’s distrust of white men and grandfather’s old feathered hunting hatchet; watched Ted Lavender die “Boom-down, like cement”; carried moccasins for silence; taught Rat Kiley and Dave Jensen a rain dance
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Lee Strunk
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carried tanning lotion, sling shot (as last resort); once drew 17 and went in tunnel
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to carry something
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to hump
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soldiers were called
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legs of grunts
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What they carried was based on rank and field specialty. (T or F)
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True
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Lieutenant Cross blamed himself for Ted’s death (T or F)
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True
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Why did Lieutenant Cross blame himself for Ted’s death?
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he loved Martha more than his men and could not stop thinking about her
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What they carried was based on mission (T or F)
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True
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Why did Martha pick the pebble?
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found on Jersey shoreline where things came together but also separated which inspired her to mail it to him (no romance intended)
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Why did they carry the mine detector?
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was heavy and awkward to handle and often useless because of shrapnel in the earth but they carried for safety and illusion of safety
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Why is # 17 important?
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number of men in platoon (before Lavender died) and whoever drew 17 would go in tunnel
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They used hard vocabulary to contain terrible softness (T or F)
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True
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Sanders moral about Ted’s Death
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stay away from drugs
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Soldiers just wished to be free with no burdens (T or F)
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True
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Jimmy Cross burned Martha’s letters and photographs (T or F)
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True
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Cross wanted to do what after burning Martha’s items?
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forget her, perform duties firmly, dispose of pebble, be strict and efficient, accept blame for Lavender’s death, take dope away, use impersonal lieutenant’s voice, not tolerate laxity, show strength and distance himself
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Point of View shift
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3rd person to O’Brien
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Tim O’Brien
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lives in Massachusetts; visited by Jimmy Cross one day years after war and drank and discussed old times; 43 and writer, writes war stories, daughter Kathleen doesn’t want him to
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Azar
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gave one legged boy chocolate; blew up Ted Lavender’s orphan puppy
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Dobbins and Bowker play checkers every night, what’s the irony?
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checker’s playing field was always laid out, no surprises, you knew score and where you stood, enemy was visible, winner and loser, there were rules, unlike Vietnam War
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Old poppa-san
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guide platoon through mine fields on Batangan Peninsula, “Step out of line, hit a mine; follow the dink, you’re in the pink”
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Average age of platoon
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19 or 20
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How was the platoon’s atmosphere?
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curiously playful, like a sportin event at some exotic reform school
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What are stories for?
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Stories are for joining the past and the future; Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there inothing to remember except the story
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Tim O’Brien wanted to be….
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wanted to be a secret hero/The Lone Ranger;
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Tim O’Brien philosophy on courage
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believed courage could be received and stashed away like inheritance until one day you can just draw it all out
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Did Tim O’Brien support war?
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no, he believed US had no reason to fight war
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Why did Tim O’Brien think he was not soldier?
answer

was too smart and compassionate; Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, president of student body, full ride scholarship for grad school at Harvard; hated Boy Scouts, camping out, dirt, tents, mosquitos, sight of blood makes him queasy, can’t tolerate authority, didn’t know rifle from sling shot
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What is the story O’Brien never told before?
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His attempt to run away to Canada
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What is the Rainy River?
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border between Minnesota and Canada
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When did Tim O’Brien receive his draft letter?
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June 17, 1968
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Where did Tim O’Brien work in the summer of 1968?
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Armour meat packing plant in Worthington, Minnesota as pig “Declotter”
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Why didn’t Tim O’Brien flee officially to Canada?
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he was embarrassed and couldn’t stand the shame
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Where did Tim O’Brien take refuge for 6 days?
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old fishing resort called Tip Top Lodge
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Elroy Berdahl
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eighty-one year old, skinny and shrunken, mostly bald, he was a witness like or or Gods “who look on in absolute silence as we live our lives, as we make our choices or fail to make them”; never asks O’Brien personal questions, gives O’Brien money, owns Tip Top Lodge
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Did O’Brien take the money from Berdahl?
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no
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Who got in a fist fight?
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Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk
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Why was there a fist fight?
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Lee Strunk stole Dave Jensen’s jackknife
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What happened to Strunk after the fist fight?
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nose was broken, bandaged up, and returned to the platoon
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What happened to Jensen after the fist fight?
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went crazy over the fear of Strunk seeking revenge and broke his own nose to be “square”
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What was the pact between Jenson and Strunk?
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If one was seriously injured (like stuck in a wheelchair for life) the other would kill him
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Was the pact between Jenson and Strunk upheld?
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no
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What did Strunk and Lemon like to do?
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play chicken by tossing a smoke hand granade
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How was Strunk injured? Did he die?
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stepped on a rigged mortar round (mine) and leg was blown off; not immediately but yes
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What happened to Lemon’s best friend after he died?
answer

wrote a terrific, heartwrenching letter to Lemon’s sister and she never replied
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How did Jenson react to Lemons’ death?
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cleaned up his body while singing the Lemon Tree Song
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How did Kiley react to Lemon’s death?
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cried profusely and tortured a baby water buffalo
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According to O’Brien, do war stories have a moral?
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no
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How do you generalize?
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War is hell
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The truths of war are ____
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contradictory
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Who told the story of the music in the foggy mountains?
answer

Mitchell Sanders
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What is the moral of the music in the foggy mountains story according to Sanders?
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“Nobody listens. Nobody hears nothin’…Trees and rocks-you got to listen to your enemy.” “That quiet-just listen. There’s your moral”
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What did O’Brien believe Sanders in the music in the foggy mountains story?
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“war has the feel…of a great ghostly fog…There is no clarity…The vapors suck you in. You can’t tell where you are, or why you’re there, and the only certainty is overwhelming ambiguity.”
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What is Nam?
answer

Vietnam, Garden of Evil
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What type of story is the one about Lemon and Kiley?
answer

love story (not war)
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True war story
answer

is never about war
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Curt Lemon
answer

tendency to play tough soldier role, pulled off some dangerous stunts, once he painted his body, put on a ghost mask and trick-or-treated on Halloween, high opinion of himself (or maybe low opinion he was trying to erase), dentist gave him the creeps and fainted before the dentist even got to him, but he was so embarrassed he lied to the dentist saying he was having a terrible toothache and the dentist yanked out the perfectly good tooth and then he was happy again
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who had a reputation for exaggeration and overstatement
answer

Rat Kiley; facts formed by sensation not the other way around
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What is the name of the men’s platoon
answer

Alpha company
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Who doubted Rat’s stories
answer

everyone
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Before assigned to Alpha Company, where was Rat?
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small medical detachment up in the mountains west of Chu Lai near village fo Tra Bong with 8 other enlisted men and tehy ran an aid station providing for basic emergency and trauma care; area heavily mined
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what made this place an ideal duty
answer

no humping, no officers, lots of cold beer, 3 hot meals a day, tin roof over head, do what you want, hardly field inspection, no military discipline
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who was Eddie Diamond
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highest ranking NCO (non-commissioned officer) whose pleasures ran from dope to Darvon (he likes drugs)
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Who are the Greenies
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special forces, six green berets, not social animals, fortified base with sandbags and metal fence, don’t make contact with medical detachment unless necessary, secretive and suspicious, loners by nautre, sometimes vanish for days or weeks at a time
question

Who brought his girlfriend over?
answer

Mark Fossie
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Who was the girlfriend in Nam?
answer

Mary Anne Bell; blue eyes, white, 17, really pretty, bubbly personality, curious; sweethearts with Fossie since 6th grade
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What happened to Mary Anne according to the Greenies?
answer

she walked off into the mountains and never came back; declared missing; still somewhere out there in the dark; she became a part of the land
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Henry Dobbins
answer

superb solider, good man, not sophisticated, ioronies went beyond him, like America big and strong with full intentions but slow of foot but always going along; there when needed, believed simplicity, directness, hard labor, drawn to sentimentality, wear girlfriend’s pantyhose around the neck like talisman, he never was injured while wearing stockings; superstitious
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Monks gave a chair to who as if they were proud
answer

Lieutenant Cross
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Monks gave what fruit to soldiers
answer

4 watermelons
question

Who wanted to join up with monks and “wear robes. Take the pledge” after war? why?
answer

Dobbins; free house, free car, lots of potlucks, pretty good life, believed in God, being nice and decent to people, visit the sick
question

why didnt dobbins want to be a preacher?
answer

had to be super sharp and explain hard stuff
question

did kiowa ever want to be a minister?
answer

no
question

what was dobbins idea of being “decent” to the monks?
answer

telling them to beat it
question

who wore a gold ring on the 3rd finger of his right hand?
answer

the man O’brien killed
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the man O’brien killed
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eyebrows thin and arched like a woman, bony legs, narrow waist, dainty man, long shapely fingers,
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How did O’brien imagine the man he killed?
answer

born 1946, village of My Khe, family lived their for centuries and his elder family fought in the struggle for independence, not communist, citizen and soldier, but for tradition had to be patriotic but he didnt want to fight although considered highest duty/privilege; he wanted to be scholar and teach math; eventually found a woman who loved his quirks and they got married
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who was joking the O’brien about the man he killed
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Azar
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who tried to console Tim
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Kiowa
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who asked if O’brien ever killed someone? did he tell the truth?
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O’brien’s daughter Kathleen when 9; no
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has o’brien completely forgiven himself for killin the man?
answer

no
question

Who was dancing eyes half closed and bare foot?
answer

14 year girl with dead family
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who imitated/mocked her dancing?
answer

Azar
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what was dobbins explanation to azar why the girl was dancing?
answer

it doesnt matter why, she is just dancing; she just liked to dance
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what did dobbins do in response to azar’s show?
answer

picked him up, lifted him high, carried him to the deep well, asked if he wanted to be dumped, and then let him go with saying “dance right”
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During Rat’s story about Mark Fossie and Mary Ann, Mitchell Sanders becomes upset with Rat because
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Mitchell enjoys stories with morals, and Rat does not know for sure how this story ends
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Tim is able to confide in Kiowa, telling him how he feels after killing a man. (T or F)
answer

False
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Why did O’Brien find it difficult to mourn for Curt Lemon? I. He only knew him slightly. II. He was not impressed by what he knew about him. III. He had a tendency to pull off some dangerous stunts and brag about them.
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I, II, and III
question

From the selection on Henry Dobbins and his girlfriend’s stockings, the author writes that the stockings were “a talisman for (Henry).” You can infer this means
answer

something that has magical powers
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When Rat first came to Vietnam, a guy named Mark Fossie decided to ship his girlfriend over to where he was stationed after hearing one of Rat’s stories. (T or F)
answer

False
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When Mark asks Rat to do something because he can’t just let Mary Ann go like that, Rat’s response is what?
answer

She is already gone
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After Mary Ann did not return home that night, she and Mark came to a new understanding and
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they became engaged, but she later disappears
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Who does the following quote describe: “Sometimes I want to eat this place. Vietnam. I want to swallow the whole country-the dirt, the death-I just want to eat it and have it inside me.” ?
answer

Mary Ann
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According to Rat, Mary Ann “wasn’t afraid to get her hands bloody. At times, in fact, she seemed facinated by it.” What was facinating to her?
answer

The adrenaline rush
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The man Tim O’Brien killed had eyebrows that were thin and arched like a woman’s. (T or F)
answer

True
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Curt was afraid of dentists and fainted before the dentist even touched him. How did Curt react when he realized this?
answer

He pretended he had a toothache and had a good tooth removed to prove he was not scared.
question

Rat says the same thing happened to Mary Ann that happened to all of them, you come over clean and you get dirty, and then afterwards it is never the same. (T or F)
answer

True
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When Mary Ann and the six Greenies return after being gone for 3 weeks, what is the disturbing part that Rat mentions about Mary Ann?
answer

she is wearing a necklace made of human tongues
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Who does the following quote describe: “He wanted to heat up the truth, to make it burn so hot that you would feel exactly what he felt” ?
answer

Rat Kiley
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Who believed it was wrong for them to set up camp at a church?
answer

Kiowa
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Who did the monks take a special liking to and became known as “Soldier Jesus”?
answer

Dobbins
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The first night Mary Ann does not return home, where does Mark Fossie discover she has been?
answer

On an ambush
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Mary Ann pesters Mark Fossie to take her down to the village. Rat uses figurative language to compare Mary Ann’s trip to the village to what?
answer

a cheerleader visiting the opposing team’s locker room
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Kiowa tries to comfort Tim after he killed a man, begging him to stop staring at the man. (T or F)
answer

True
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After Dobbins and his girlfriend broke up, he no longer wears her pantyhose around his neck. (T or F)
answer

False
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who endlessly circled around the lake in his chevy and listened to the radio
answer

Norman Bowker
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how long was the loop around the lake
answer

7 miles
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lake road represented
answer

boundary between affluent and most affluent (lakeside were most affluent)
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who was Bowkers highschool sweetheart? where is she now?
answer

Sally Kramer; now married with name Gustafson living in a pleasant blue house on the affluent side of the road; she looked really happy
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what did bowker do around the lake in highschool?
answer

go out with Sally Kramer, talk with his friends about God’s existence, urgent matters, theories of causation
question

a slow car could travel the lake how fast?
answer

25 minutes
question

who is max arnold
answer

Bowker’s friend who liked to talk about God’s existence, theories of causation, and eventually drowned
question

what did Bowker’s father do?
answer

stay at home watching baseball on national TV
question

what people did Bowker see on his joy ride?
answer

2 boys hiking (who ignored him when he honked), Sally Gustafson mowing the lawn, man in motorboat bent over engine with wrench and frown, water-skiers, 2 mud hens, workmen setting up for evening fireworks, highschool band, woman in pedal pushers fishing,
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How many times did he circle the lake?
answer

12
question

what was bowker good at?
answer

telling time without clocks plus or minus 10 min (picked up trick from war); wanted to impress Sally with this knowledge
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what day was bowker driving around the lake?
answer

4th of July
question

what medals did bowker win?
answer

Combay Infantryman’s badge, air medal, army commendation medal, the good conduct medal, vietnam campaign medal, bronze star, purple heart (wound that left no scar and didnt hurt); all badges for common valor
question

what was Bowker’s father concerned about? did he ever tell bowker he wasnt a coward and that he was proud of his achievements?
answer

amount of medals; no
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what did Bowker almost win
answer

silver star
question

Bowker’s father asked Bowker how he almost won the Silver star (T or F)
answer

false
question

what was the song tra bong
answer

slow flat muddy river with during monsoon season deep muck on either bank for quarter mile
question

the lake was bad for
answer

fishing and swimming
question

what did Bowker dislike about the town?
answer

the town could not talk and would not listen; didn’t know or care about the war; theres no place to go (anywhere really)
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what would Bowker give a lecture on ? did he really give a lecture on it?
answer

sh**; youre drunk if you said yes
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The mama-sans stood in the rain yapping away about the field being bad news (T or F)
answer

true
question

what was in Kiowa’s place when sinking in the mud?
answer

knee, arm, gold wristwatch, part of a boot and bubbles
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who treated bowker rudely?
answer

the car hop girl with the badge EAT MAMA BURGERS
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The man in the intercom wanted to hear Bowker’s story (T or F)
answer

true
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what did bowker feel he did to Kiowa?
answer

he just let the guy go
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what happened to Bowker?
answer

hung himself in locker room of YMCA in his hometown in central Iowa
question

who suggested SPEAKING OF COURAGE? when was it written?
answer

bowker; 1975
question

What all jobs did Bowker do
answer

automotive parts salesman, janitor, car wash attendant, short order cook at local A&W; nothing lasting more than 10 weeks
question

what was Bowker’s problem described in letter to O’brien?
answer

couldn’t find meaningful use for his life after war
question

In the spring of 1976 O’briend received a letter from Bowker (T or F)
answer

FALSE; 1975 sillies
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where did bowker live
answer

with his parents
question

was he enrolled in junior college?
answer

yes, but course work was too untangible, abstract, distant, nothing like war; dropped after 8 months
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what did bowker do after quitting college?
answer

spent mornings in bed, played bball at the Y, cruised around town at night in father’s car alone or with 6 pack of beer
question

bowker felt like he died with Kiowa in Nam (T or F)
answer

true
question

how was bowker’s letter?
answer

jumped form self-pity to anger to irony to guilt to indifference; he didnt know what to feel; he reproached himself for complaining too much

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