Howl, and Other 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. Ginsberg thinks about which famous poet?

2. Ginsberg wants people to find _______________.

3. Non-conformists often conformed and opened what kinds of stores?

4. Where does Ginsberg wander?

5. Ginsberg was a big supporter of ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What mystical reference is made by Ginsberg? Does Ginsberg want to keep it a secret?

2. What is Ginsberg's dream about being with Whitman in the store?

3. What is the setting for Sunflower Sutra? What do the men dream about in regards to the scene?

4. What was Ginsberg's relationship to Carl Solomon?

5. Do you think that Ginsberg is being realistic in regards to this concept? Is there anything negative in the holiness?

6. What types of people are noticed by Ginsberg inside the supermarket?

7. What is Ginsberg's first encounter with Whitman?

8. Who is William Carlos Williams?

9. Why did Ginsberg experience a great deal of confusion and distress during his adolescence?

10. What kinds of things are represented by the flower? What is Ginsberg able to see that is no longer present?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the poems included in the work is titled SUNFLOWER SUTRA. What is a Sutra? Study all forms used by Ginsberg. It which is the most popular? Why? How many poems included in this work could be considered Sutras? What are common themes? How does Ginsberg incorporate imagery and juxtaposition in his work as he did in SUNFLOWER SUTRA? What is the purpose? Does it make the work better? Explain. What other poet is similar?

Essay Topic 2

In the poem WILD ORPHAN Ginsberg discusses the life of an orphan. What are common fantasies and misconceptions about orphans? How do those compare to the reality? Use examples all of orphans as they are portrayed in movies and literature. How accurate are the portrayals? What is the difference between an orphanage and foster care? What are the criteria for each? Compare and contrast orphanages in the 1950s to today.

Essay Topic 3

HOWL speaks a lot about madness. Explain what Ginsberg means by madness. Is it psychological, trauma induced, or sociologically or politically aggravated? What type of madness affected those in Ginsberg's generation? What are the symptoms of this madness? What are potential treatments? Is there a cure? How would such madness be treated today?

(see the answer keys)

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