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 hopes for the return of which of the following?

2. Which of the following was common on the scene in those days?

3. People often attempted to deaden their ______________.

4. Many institutions believe that ___ was/were the answer.

5. What is the theme of this poem?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. According to Ginsberg, what are some of the things that keep America interesting?

4. What is one of the things that Ginsberg might discuss or dream about with Whitman on the way home?

5. What common object is spotted by Kerouac? Where? What is Ginsberg's reaction?

6. What were some of the things the people of Ginsberg's generation did to try and ease the pain of youth?

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

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

9. Ginsberg spends a great deal of time talking about what is holy. What are the poet's thoughts on the subject?

10. Name at least two themes used in SUNFLOWER SUTRA. How do you know?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

IN THE BAGGAGE ROOM AT GREYHOUND discusses Ginsberg's views about what goes on in a bus station. Explain the purpose of using this particular location. What does Ginsberg see? What is unusual about the people? Describe the interaction between Ginsberg and the workers and passengers. What do the workers represent? What can one learn from performing such observations? Take a similar personal experience and compare and contrast it with Ginsberg's experience at Greyhound.

Essay Topic 3

In HOWL, Ginsberg talks about sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. as a substitute for something missing in one's life. Examine this theory. Do you agree or disagree? What proof is there to support each side of the argument? What is the basis for addiction? Is there a cure? If so, what is it and how is it administered? What is the "cure" rate for alcoholics and drugs addicts? Is one ever cured?

(see the answer keys)

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