Big Sur 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. On what show did the narrator practice his poetry in Hollywood a year prior in Chapter 6?

2. What are the new generation of kids who wear ragged but strangely elegant clothing called?

3. What is the name of the pet mule of the local settlers in the book?

4. What kind of cat did the narrator have?

5. Who is yelling in the living room when the narrator wakes up in Chapter 14?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the descriptions in Chapter 3 relate about the protagonist?

2. In Chapter 5, how does Jack's relationship to nature change?

3. What story does Jack relate in Chapter 6 of Hollywood? Why does the author relate this information?

4. How do the protagonist's feelings of himself in Chapters 1 and 2 foreshadow that which occurs later in the novel?

5. In what ways does Jack communicate or interact with the animals at Big Sur in Chapter 8?

6. What is Jack's reaction to Cody's disappointment to see him drinking in Chapter 13?

7. What does Jack tell himself and thus do in the beginning of Chapter 3? What does the driver tell him?

8. What animal does Jack encounter in Chapter 4? How does he describe this and the landscape?

9. What does Jack decide to do in Chapter 9? How does he go about leaving?

10. Who arrives in Chapter 5? How does Jack's perspective change after this visit?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the character of Cody Pomeray. How is this character viewed by all of the others in the novel? What are his feelings for Jack?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss and describe the religious and spiritual allusions in Big Sur. What religions and philosophies does the author refer to and in what context?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the defining elements of Kerouac's style. How does he approach grammatical rules? In what time frame did he complete his works?

(see the answer keys)

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