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Plot Introduction[ edit ] Typical of many stories that deal with themes of psychological traumaGoing After Cacciato contains distinct ambiguities concerning the nature and order of events that occur.
The chronology is nonlinear for most of the book. The main idea of the story is, by O'Brien's estimation, that being a soldier in Vietnam for the standard tour of duty entails constant walking; if one were to put all the walking in a straight line, one would end up in Paris, where Cacciato is going.
Paul Berlin, the main character, is a frustrated soldier. During one night while on watch duty, Paul Berlin thinks about the past and events that lead him to daydream about going to Paris.
The courage it takes to chase one's dreams is a recurring theme, which is often expressed through Paul Berlin's reveries. Cacciato, who is always portrayed as self-sufficient and happy, is pursued by Berlin and his comrades in arms. Cacciato's actions are sometimes portrayed as those of a man who is not particularly bright or gifted, but who is untroubled by the larger questions of the war itself.
In the chapter "Tunneling Toward Paris", the characters escape the endless tunnels by "falling out" just as they fell in; this allusion to Alice In Wonderland helps to reveal the story as surrealistic fiction.
This surrealism also appears earlier in the novel, when Cacciato flies off a mountain. The final pages feature the juxtaposition of two statements, by Sarkin Aung Wan and Paul Berlin, which contrast the early American view think Emerson and Thoreau of independence and happiness against the modern view of obligations placed on the individual to conform to society.
The obligations lead to complicity in atrocities. Sarkin Aung Wan - Burmese refugee who saves the squad many times, such as the time they became lost in a Vietcong tunnel complex. Frenchie Tucker - Dies in a tunnel, shot in the nose. Bernie Lynn - is killed after following Frenchie Tucker into the tunnel and is shot underneath in part of his throat.
Eddie Lazzutti - Soldier in the Third Squad. Stink Harris - Leads party; is "trigger happy. Harold Murphy - Another soldier in Berlin's squad. Murphy leaves early on since he feels the mission is worthless and the penalty for it is too great. Buff - Short for Water Buffalo, is known for his big size.
He dies while the platoon is trying to cross a field. Berlin commonly refers to his death as "life after death" because his face remains in his helmet after he is killed.Going After Cacciato is an anti-war novel written by Tim O'Brien and first published by Delacorte Press in It won the U.S.
National Book Award for Fiction.  O'Brien himself says that " Going After Cacciato is called a war novel. Going After Cacciato It was a bad time. Billy Boy Watkins was dead, and so was Frenchie Tucker. Billy Boy had died of fright, scared to death on the field of See, he says he's going up.
through Laos, then into Burma, and then some other country, I forget, and then India and Iran and Turkey, and then Greece, and the rest is easy. That's. O’Brien won the National Book Award in for his novel Going After Cacciato.
Another novel, In the Lake of the Woods, won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was selected as the best book of by Time Magazine. Going After Cacciato ’s plot and style are occasionally fantastic and far-fetched, but what’s arguably more jarring about the novel is what O’Brien leaves out of the story.
At least half a dozen times, O’Brien ends a chapter on a “cliffhanger”—a suspenseful, seemingly unresolvable climax—and then, in the next chapter, flashes. The Going After Cacciato Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by .
Although Going After Cacciato is a surreal counterpoint to The Things They Carried, it is every bit as eye-opening, visceral, and powerful as that masterwork. And O'Brien can really really write!
And O'Brien can really really write!/5.