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. What was the narrator's brother's name who had passed away in his childhood?

2. What does the narrator see on his porch from the mailbox which makes him happy in Chapter 9?

3. Where has Cody been for the past two years in Chapter 13?

4. For how long does the narrator write that he will go crazy in Chapter 8?

5. Who does the narrator fantasize about talking to in Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

1. What "sign" does Jack speak of in Chapter 10 and why?

2. What quotes of Emerson does Kerouac use in Chapter 7? What do these propel the narrator to do?

3. How does the protagonist view the cliffs and his surroundings in Chapter 4?

4. What is Jack's reaction to learning his cat has died?

5. Why is the cabin as isolated as it is? What activity takes Jack an entire day in Chapter 6?

6. In what "chores" does the narrator find peace in Chapter 6?

7. What does Jack recall of George Baso in Chapter 15?

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

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

10. Where is Jack in the beginning of the novel? What were his initial plans and why did they change?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss and describe the foreshadowing which Kerouac used in Big Sur. How overt is his use of foreshadowing? What are his intentions with this technique?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Jack's relationship to animals in Big Sur. How is this expressed in the cabin and in San Francisco? What do the animals symbolize?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the ethics and philosophies of the Beat Generation as illustrated in the novel Big Sur.

(see the answer keys)

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