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. What is the theme of this poem?

2. Where is it located?

3. Which of the following is not listed as being in the abyss?

4. Who is Charon?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the purpose of the vision? Does Ginsberg understand this purpose?

2. Discuss Ginsberg's view of creative people who had to go to work in order to survive.

3. What was involved in regard to some of the social and political action taken by Ginsberg's peers?

4. How does Ginsberg's lack of money affect his attitude in this poem?

5. How does the poet speak about the people of his generation?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine the Beat Generation and Ginsberg's part in it. How did it start? Who was involved? What were the basic tenets? How did it change the arts/social/political climate in the US? How long did it last? When did it end? What became of the influential members of the Beat Generation after the next new wave of artists hit the scene?

Essay Topic 2

In AN ASPHODEL Ginsberg talks about lust and quenching desire. Were writers discussing this topic 100 years before? Write about the similarities and differences in the poetry of the 1850s versus Ginsberg worked in the 1950s. Do you think that there is a great difference between need and emotional connection between people given the fact that Ginsberg is gay? What are your own experiences with identifying and quelling at various desires - mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical?

Essay Topic 3

Ginsberg discusses the mechanics of industry in the 1950s. How did the Industrial Revolution effect the environment compared to previous ways of manufacture? What might the environment be like 50 years from now? 100 years from now? Create a short list of modern advancements in industrial procedures. Explain their purpose and use. How will these advancements incur change? Will the change be for better or for worse?

(see the answer keys)

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