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This is a final assessment for the novel "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. This test is aligned with the Common Core. The questions pertain more to the meaning of the novel and the essence of the theme and characters than to basic comprehension of ideas.
The first section has 18 multiple choice questions. These questions are worded using question stems found on the NC English II EOC. Many questions incorporate quotes from the novel.
Example Multiple Choice Question:
Which quote provides the best visual for what Tim O’Brien’s life was like the summer he received his draft notice?
a. “All I wanted was to live the life I was born to – a mainstream life – I loved baseball and hamburgers and cherry Cokes.”
b. “I felt isolated that summer. I spent a lot of time alone.”
c. “I’d sometimes borrow my father’s car and drive aimlessly around town, feeling sorry for myself, thinking about the war and the pig factory and how my life seemed to be collapsing toward slaughter.”
d. “Back in college I have taken a modest stand against the war. Nothing radical, just ringing a few doorbells, and composing a few tedious, uninspired editorials for the campus newspaper.”
The section sections provides the students with several quotes that they need to relate to certain (given) themes: such as, a document of the Vietnam experience, a testament to the uniqueness of individuals, and the power of storytelling.
The third section gives the students quotes from the novel and they must provide a specific detailed example that supports the quote.
27. Give an example from the story that supports the quote.
“The average age in our platoon, I’d guess was nineteen or twenty, and as a consequence things often took on a curiously playful atmosphere, like a sporting event at some exotic reform school. The competition could be lethal, yet there was a childlike exuberance to it all, lots of pranks and horseplay.”
(Students would provide an example of when the soldiers acted in such a way)
Finally, there is an essay section of the test. Here the students must use all of their knowledge of the book in order to answer 4 short essay prompts.