The Portable Beat Reader 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. What is the title of Neal Cassady's unfinished autobiography?

2. Where did Carl Soloman meet Allen Ginsberg?

3. When was Rotterdam bombed by the Nazis?

4. Who is Jack Kerouac known as in On the Road?

5. William S. Burroughs' family made a fortune from producing ____________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What biographical facts are mixed up in Kerouac's "On the Road"? What details are omitted?

2. What is Ginsberg's subject in "A Supermarket in America"?

3. How do Cassady and Kerouac differ on their perspective of Cassady's childhood?

4. Who is John Clellon Holmes, and what is his impact on the Beat Generation?

5. Describe Kerouac's depiction of the jazz band in the excerpt from "On the Road." To whom are they compared ?

6. In his letters to Kerouac, what is Cassady's description of how he lost his old girlfriend Joan in Denver?

7. What political references are made in the poem "America"?

8. What is the theme of the poem "Kaddish"?

9. What repetition is used in the "Peyote Poem"? Why?

10. What political allusions are used in "One Thousand Fearful Words for Fidel Castro"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the poets Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen. Where did these poets meet? How did they become associated with the Beat Generation?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the novel On the Road and its importance to the Beat Generation's philosophies and ideologies. What are the fictionalized names about and "who is who"?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the relationship between Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac, as illustrated in their letters. How do the two men regard one another?

(see the answer keys)

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