Song of Myself Test | Final 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 narrator claims in Section 73, “Not a youngster is taken for” what, “but I go up too, and am tried and sentenced”?

2. Section 45 begins, “O span of youth! Ever-push’d” what?

3. “Words” are described as being as “simple as” what, in Section 39?

4. According to the poet in Section 30, “All truths wait in” what?

5. The poet proclaims in Section 44, “What is known I” do what to?

Short Essay Questions

1. To what are flames compared in Section 28? Why?

2. Where does the poet “stand” in Section 44? What conclusion has he reached?

3. How are “youth” and “age” described in Section 45?

4. How does Whitman address the faults of mankind in Section 32?

5. What does the poet tell the world’s “priests” in Section 43?

6. What reaction does the poet have to his circumstances in the opening of Section 38?

7. With what characters does the narrator relate in Section 37?

8. What does the poet remark about animals in the opening of Section 32?

9. Which of the five senses is introduced in Section 27? What animal is cited in this section?

10. What war is described in Sections 35 and 36? How does the poet describe the aftermath of the battle?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Walt Whitman’s depictions of nature versus modernization, science, and technology. Do you think Whitman perceived science as being akin to spirituality? How did his viewpoints in the poem coincide with traditional thought?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the issues of slavery and race relations in 1855 when the poem was first published. What were Walt Whitman’s political views regarding slavery and the dissention between the North and South at this time? What elements of racial relations have been seen in “Song of Myself”?

Essay Topic 3

Describe, analyze, and discuss the sense of “self” and the omniscient “I” presented in “Song of Myself.” How did Whitman’s perception of self in this poem relate to common public perception of the self at this time historically and culturally? How does Whitman’s “self” compare with the Holy Trinity, for example?

(see the answer keys)

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