Song of Myself 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. Whitman writes in Section 1 of the poem that every what “belonging to me as good belongs to you”?

2. The narrator asserts in Section 18 that “battles are lost in the same spirit in which” what?

3. The narrator claims in Section 15, “The married and unmarried children ride home to their” what?

4. The narrator makes a statement equating stoutness with what animal in Section 3?

5. The narrator says in Section 13 to not call what creature “unworthy because she is not something else”?

Short Essay Questions

1. After calling out to the Earth in Section 21, what does Whitman address in Section 22?

2. What imagery is the focus of Section 11 of the poem?

3. What symbolism and metaphor are illustrated in Section 9 of the poem?

4. What does the “twenty-ninth bather” represent metaphorically in Section 11?

5. How does the poet relate the quality of “aroma” and of the air in Section 2?

6. What new journey does the poet embark upon beginning in Section 8 of the poem?

7. How does the poet relate with the “wild gander” in Section 14?

8. What is the poet’s implication with the following lines from Section 4: “There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now”?

9. What Christian allusion can be seen in the opening of Section 21?

10. How have critics and scholars interpreted the following sexually implicit lines in Section 5: “How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn'd over upon me”?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the sexual and sensual qualities of the poem “Song of Myself.” Where was the poem and the collection Leaves of Grass banned for its explicit depiction of human sexuality? When were these bans lifted? How did Whitman respond to his work being banned?

Essay Topic 2

Define “assonance” and “alliteration” and give examples of each in the poem. Why does the poet choose to employ these techniques? What effect to the commonality of the sounds have on the reader?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the symbolism of the blade of grass that Whitman uses throughout “Song of Myself.” What have critics and scholars associated this motif with symbolically? How many times does the poet refer to the blade of grass in the poem? How does the grass relate to human existence?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 908 words
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