The Dharma Bums Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the character of Ray Smith as he arrives in Los Angeles.

Ray Smith is a beat writer with newly acquired fame who arrives in Los Angeles from a trip to Mexico, having hitchhiked and ridden trains like a hobo.

2. Describe the character of Japhy Ryder.

Japhy is a backwoods boy from Eastern Oregon who grew up in a log cabin in the woods. He has studied anthropology, and is considered to be an Oriental scholar. He loves the outdoors and hiking and is involved with the IWW.

3. Describe the house where Ray Smith is staying.

Ray is staying with Alvah Goldbrook near the University of California at Berkeley campus. The house is surrounded by a garden, which is overgrown with mint. The house is filled with numerous books.

4. List the four men who sit together at Japhy's small home, drinking wine together and discussing poetry.

The four men are Japhy, Ray, Alvah, and Warren Coughlin.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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