Selected Poems of Langston Hughes 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. Who is the congregation crying out to in "Shout"?

2. How does the speaker describe the trumpet player's music in "Trumpet Player"?

3. What did the speaker come home without in "Midnight Raffle"?

4. How does the speaker describe the plants in "Garden"?

5. Who is sitting in the amen-corner of the church in "Prayer Meeting"?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "Afro-American Fragment" (the poem), what does the author imply is being fragmented?

2. What does Hughes write in the introduction before the poem "Sunday Morning Prophecy" begins?

3. What simile is used in "Lover's Return"?

4. What theme unites the poems in "Distance Nowhere"?

5. Why do some African-Americans have a complicated relationship with Christianity, at least as is represented in "Selected Poems of Langston Hughes"?

6. What kinds of objects are referenced in "Spirituals"?

7. What is the unspoken implication about Monroe in "Monroe's Blues"?

8. What does the poem "Drum" portray Death's eventuality as?

9. What is the Harlem Renaissance known for?

10. What is the musician singing about in "The Weary Blues"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze Sylvester in "Sylvester's Death Bed" and discuss 1) the role(s) women play in the poem, 2) Sylvester's attitude about the women surrounding him, and 3) the meaning behind why Sylvester dies right before he is able to "hug 'em."

Essay Topic 2

What message is Hughes trying to convey to the reader in "Genius Child" and what impact is Hughes creating (with the reader) to accompany his intended message? Additionally, list at least 2 literary devices Hughes uses in this poem to convey his meaning.

Essay Topic 3

"Ennui" is an incredibly short but very powerful poem. Analyze Hughes's choice in diction for the poem and why he chose the words he did in a poem of such brevity. (Make sure to also address the title as one of Hughes's word choices.)

(see the answer keys)

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