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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 poet says in Section 31, “In vain the buzzard houses herself with” what?
2. “Behavior” is described as “lawless” as what in Section 39?
3. What word does Whitman use in Section 43 to refer to a Mesoamerican pyramid surmounted by a temple?
4. The narrator contends that he is the teacher of what, in the opening of Section 47?
5. By whom does the narrator say he has been “given up” in Section 28?
Short Essay Questions
1. What reaction does the poet have to his circumstances in the opening of Section 38?
2. What does the poet question and attempt to answer in Section 40 of the poem?
3. What sense and expression is discussed in the opening of Section 25?
4. How does Whitman address the vastness of the world in Section 33?
5. What does the poet remark about animals in the opening of Section 32?
6. Where does the poet “stand” in Section 44? What conclusion has he reached?
7. With what characters does the narrator relate in Section 37?
8. With what “characters” does the poet relate in Sections 47 and 48 of the poem?
9. What setting does the narrator take the reader to in Section 34?
10. What is the central message in Section 29 of the poem?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Discuss the Native American experience, its culture, and its idealization in the poem. How does the poet refer to the American Indians? What viewpoints does he imbue on tribal belief systems? How are their customs depicted?
Essay Topic 2
Discuss Walt Whitman’s comparisons of those things that appear minute and/or mundane with those that appear vast and overshadowing. What is the poet’s point in these illustrations in Section 31? What conclusions does the poet reach?
Essay Topic 3
Discuss the poet’s references to the Texas War of Independence. What were Whitman’s political views regarding the war? How many soldiers died in the battles? How does Whitman describe the Battle of the Alamo in this section of the poem? What central battle is his focus?
This section contains 820 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)