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. What animal “walks to and fro on a limb overhead” in Section 33?

2. What creature “is whistling betwixt the woods and the wheatlot” in Section 33?

3. The narrator states in Section 30 that logic and what “never convince”?

4. The narrator claims in Section 33, “I am the hounded slave, I wince at the bite of” what?

5. Who does the author say “embody themselves in me and I am embodied in them” at the end of Section 37?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Whitman address the vastness of the world in Section 33?

2. What events take place in the battle described in Section 34 of the poem?

3. What is the purpose of the religious allusion in Sections 41 and 42 of the poem?

4. How are the Native Americans depicted in Section 39?

5. Why and how does Whitman turn to the sense of sound in Section 26?

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

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

8. What sense and expression is discussed in the opening of Section 25?

9. In what way is the concept of “rebirth” illustrated in Section 38?

10. How is the motif of the journey described in Section 46 of the poem?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss the marriage of the trapper to the “red girl” in Section 10. What is the implied cultural history of the bride and her family? How does the poet describe the customs of the Native Americans in this section of the poem?

Essay Topic 3

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”?

(see the answer keys)

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