American Primitive: Poems Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 does the narrator say she is close to in 'Cold Poem'?

2. Why do some people not gather the mushrooms in 'Mushrooms'?

3. What blurs the moles' traceries in 'Moles'?

4. How does the narrator get into the whorehouse?

5. What is the only part of the narrator's body she is concerned with in 'August'?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the narrator of 'Fall Song' describe the present time?

2. What is the person in 'Skunk Cabbage' looking for, and what do they find?

3. In 'The Bobcat', what does the bobcat do that astounds the narrator?

4. What is the central theme in the first four poems?

5. What does the narrator say about the trees at the Boston Hospital in 'University Hospital, Boston'?

6. What is 'Ghosts' really about?

7. What is the ironic idea included in 'Mushrooms'?

8. What is the main metaphor used in 'Lightning'?

9. What does the alligator in 'Postcard From Flamingo' do?

10. What question does the narrator want to ask the stranger on the plane in 'Flying'?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Diversity was a major theme in this book as many different lifestyles and ranks in society were described. How was this theme shown in this book, and why do you think the author felt it was so important?

Essay Topic 2

Many of these poems dealt with Oliver's thoughts about the treatment of Indians. What are some of the main incidents of this, and how was her tone and opinion presented in these poems?

Essay Topic 3

Many mother and daughter relationships were described in this collection of poems. What were some of these highlighted relationships, and how did they affect Oliver and her writing?

(see the answer keys)

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