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. The “lunatic” described in Section 15 “will never sleep any more as he did in the cot” where?

2. What color, in addition to green, is considered the “tufted crown intentional” by the narrator in Section 13?

3. As the narrator watches “the little one” sleeping in Section 8, he silently brushes away what with his hand?

4. What does the butcher-boy put off, according to the narrator in Section 12?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How is “the negro” described in Section 13 of the poem?

2. How does Section 13 begin? What is the focus of this section of the poem?

3. What foreshadowing is exhibited in Section 1 of the poem? How is the universal “I” set up in this section?

4. What is Whitman’s conclusion regarding “failure” in Section 18?

5. How does the poet’s delineation of “self” evolve in Section 5 of the poem?

6. How does the poet define “I” and “you” in response to his own questions in Section 20?

7. How is “the lunatic” described in Section 15 of the poem?

8. For whom does Whitman describe playing victory marches in Section 18?

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

10. What does Whitman conclude of the quality of “presence” in Section 3?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the setting of the country barn and the poet’s depiction of harvest time in Section 9. What is being loaded on the wagon and how what symbolism does this crop imply? How is the crop related to the other symbolic motifs in the poem?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss the humanist, realist, and transcendentalist movements in literary history and Walt Whitman’s relationship to each of these movements. How can elements of these literary styles be seen in “Song of Myself”?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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