In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison 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 does Abbott call the gradual wearing away of healthy aspects of one's psychology?

2. What does Abbott say sex acts are demonstrations of?

3. Why does Abbott think the law against cruel and unusual punishment is a joke?

4. What does Abbott claim he contracted in institutions?

5. What does Abbott say prisoners live by?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Abbott fight the tedium of solitary confinement?

2. How does Abbott feel when he returns from prison life to solitary confinement?

3. Why does Abbott describe X's death as a mercy killing?

4. How do his fellow inmates save Abbott from starvation?

5. What does Abbott say the prisoners have in common?

6. What does Abbott say prison punishment is aimed at?

7. Why does Abbott say Pigs are so dangerous?

8. What is life like for Abbott in solitary confinement at the juvenile center?

9. What is a punk?

10. What is the policeman mentality?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does Abbott refuse to give into the authorities? How does it affect his time in prison and his chances of release?

Essay Topic 2

Why does Abbott think democracy is so slanted against black people? In what way does Communist philosophy try to do away with such prejudice?

Essay Topic 3

What is Abbott's relationship with Mailer and why do the students he feels free to talk him like he does? How did their relationship develop after the book was published?

(see the answer keys)

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