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American Literature – (Previous Year Questions NET | GATE)

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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is widely recognized as a masterpiece. It is also one of the finest examples of
(A) science fiction
(B) picaresque novel
(C) coming-of-age novel
(D) crime thriller
Ans: (C)

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying contains one of the shortest chapters in literary history. Which of these sentences is the chapter in its entirety ?
(A) “For the love of God, where is my hat ?”
(B) “My mother is a fish.”
(C) “Addie Bundren was dead, to begin with.”
(D) “Apricot jam is the worst sort of jam.”
Ans: (B)

The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini tells the story of ________.
(A) Ahmed
(B) Nadira
(C) Amir
(D) Amourrah
Ans: (C)

In which of the following travel books does Mark Twain give an account of his visit to India?
(A) A Tramp Abroad
(B) Roughing It
(C) The Innocents Abroad
(D) Following the Equator
Ans: (D)

In the opening stanza of “Song of Myself”, Whitman begins his spiritual awakening at the age of …………….
(A) 37
(B) 15
(C) 24
(D) 61
Ans: (A)

“You are your words. Your listeners see
Written on your face the poems they hear
Like letters carved in a tree’s bark
The sight and sounds of solitudes endured”.
These are lines from a poem by __________ on the death of __________.

(A) T. S. Eliot ; Robert Frost
(B) Siegfried Sassoon ; Wilfred Owen
(C) Stephen Spender ; W. H. Auden
(D) Dylan Thomas ; Robert Bridges
Ans: (C)

Larry slate is a character in :
(A) Desire Under the Elms
(B) The Emperor Jones
(C) The Iceman Cometh
(D) Hairy Ape
Ans: (C)

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman relies for its tragic seriousness on the fate of :
(A) Willy Loman
(B) Estragon
(C) Vladimir
(D) Lucky
Ans: (A)

 “And miles to go before I sleep” is a line from a poem by
(A) Emily Dickinson
(B) Walt Whitman
(C) Ralph Waldo Emerson
(D) Robert Frost
Ans: (D)

In Moby Dick Captain Ahab falls for his
(A) ignorance
(B) pride
(C) courage
(D) drunkenness
Ans: (B)

Hemingway’s novel A Farewell Arms is divided into to
(A) two books
(B) three books
(C) four books
(D) five books
Ans: (D)

Here is a list of American words and word-makers. Match the following :
I. H.L. Mencken
II. Philip Wylie
III. Jack Conway
IV. Sinclair Lewis
1. Babbit
2. Yes man
3. Bible belt
4. Monism
(A) 4 3 2 1
(B) 3 4 1 2
(C) 3 4 2 1
(D) 4 3 1 2
Ans: *

‘Nasal tone’ in speech is a distinguishing feature of _______.
(A) British English
(B) Scottish English
(C) Australian English
(D) American English
Ans: (D)

Willy in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman compares Biff and Happy to the mythic characters / figures
(A) Venus and Adonais
(B) Adonais and Hercules
(C) Jupiter and Hercules
(D) Venus and Hercules
Ans: (B)

Match the following :
List – I
(a) Christina Rossetti : Goblin Market
(b) Matthew Arnold : Sohrab and Rustom
(c) Robert Browning : The Ring and the Book
(d) Arthur Hugh Clough : The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich
(i) The tale of a father who inadvertently destroys his son
(ii) Gently satiric account of an Oxford student on vacation
(iii) Story of pleasure-seeking Laura and the conventionally moral Lizzie who resists temptations
(iv) A sensational 17th century murder presented through multiple dramatic monologues
The right matching according to the code is :
(a) (b) (c) (d)
(A) (iii) (iv) (i) (ii)
(B) (ii) (iv) (iii) (i)
(C) (iii) (i) (iv) (ii)
(D) (iv) (ii) (iii) (i)
Ans: (C)

What was the name of the experimental theatre group founded in 1915 by Susan Glaspell, Eugene O’Neill and other dramatists in order to challenge Broadway’s control over American drama ?
(A) The Wall Street Theatre Group
(B) The Washington Square Players
(C) The Actor’s Studio
(D) The Provincetown Players
Ans: (D)

Which of the American novelists is associated with the series of five books about Natty Bumppo, an old hunter, also called Leatherstocking ?
(A) Stephen Crane
(B) James Fennimore Cooper
(C) Herman Melville
(D) Jack London
Ans: (B)

. .The Gilded Age refers to a period of American history between 1870 and the first decades of the twentieth century. Who among the following American writers is credited with the coining of the term?
(A) F. Scott Fitzgerald
(B) Mark Twain
(C) William Dean Howells
(D) Theodore Dreiser
Ans: (B)

Arrange the following sentences in the order in which they appear in Emerson`s .Self-Reliance.:
(a) To be great is to be misunderstood.
(b) Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh.
(c) If it so bad then to he misunderstood!
(d) It is a right fool.s word.
(e) Misunderstood!
(A) (a), (e), (d), (c), (b)
(B) (e), (a), (b), (c), (d)
(C) (c), (d), (a), (b), (e)
(D) (e), (d), (c), (b), (a)
Ans: (D)

Imamu Amiri Baraka is :
(A) A Carribean writer
(B) An American writer
(C) An Arab writer
(D) A Sri Lankan writer
Ans: (B)

Edward Braithwaite’s poem Calypso assumes that you are familiar with ____________ .
(A) the business of Calypso during the Middle Passage
(B) the West Indian music in syncopated African rhythm
(C) the folk ways and mores of Trinidadian merchants
(D) the operatic performance of Banjos
Ans: (B)

Emily Dickinson’s use of “open form” or “free verse” is comparable to her contemporary American poet,
(A) Anne Bradstreet
(B) Robert Lowell
(C) Walt Whitman
(D) Sylvia Plath
Ans: (C)

The epitaph on her tombstone that Emily Dickinson composed herself reads
(A) The List is done
(B) Redemption – Brittle Lady
(C) Judge tenderly – of Me
(D) Called Back
Ans: (D)

The word “Calamus”, a kind of water reed referenced in the title Calamus Poems, is a symbol for Whitman of
(A) water nymphs
(B) male companions
(C) the spirit of American democracy
(D) the impending American Civil War
Ans: (B)

Which of the following is NOT true about Albert Camus’s novel, The Plague ?
(A) Dr. Rieux describes the phenomenon of dying rats using the metaphors of disease, especially the bubonic plague.
(B) Paneloux interprets the plague in his first sermon as a sign of the Apocalypse.
(C) M. Michel is the first victim of the plague.
(D) Tarrou thinks that the plague symbolizes human indifference.
Ans: (B)

 Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”, a key work of the Beat Movement, was dedicated to __________.
(A) Lucien Carr
(B) Carl Solomon
(C) Herbert Huncke
(D) Jack Kerouac
Ans: (B)

Using a non – linear narrative, this American novel explores the psychic damage to a veteran of World War II and shows how a measure of healing is attained through his acceptance of Laguna myths and rituals. Identify the work :
(A) Dred
(B) Beloved
(C) Ceremony
(D) End Zone
Ans: (C)

Identify the right chronological sequence :
(A) The American Pastoral – Sister Carrie – The Great Gatsby – Beloved
(B) The Great Gatsby – Sister Carrie – Beloved – The American Pastoral
(C) Sister Carrie – The Great Gatsby – Beloved – The American Pastoral
(D) Sister Carrie – The Great Gatsby – The American Pastoral – Beloved
Ans: (C)

Which of the following images does not figure in Auden’s “Musee des Beaux Arts” ?
(A) a boy falling out of the sky
(B) children … skating on a pond at the edge of wood
(C) ranches of isolation and the busy griefs
(D) the dogs go on with their doggy life
Ans: (C)

Ray Bradbury has titled one of his short story collections – Golden Apples of the Sun – after the last line of a W.B. Yeats poem. Which poem?
(A) “The Death of Cuchulain”
(B) “The Peacock”
(C) “The Hour Before Dawn”
(D) “The Song of Wandering Aengus”
Ans: (D)

Who among the following is not a beat writer?
(A) Jack Kerouac
(B) Allen Ginsberg
(C) Robert Lowell
(D) William Burroughs
Ans: (C)

‘The Figure a poem Makes’ is an essay by :
(A) Henry James
(B) Sylvia Plath
(C) Robert Frost
(D) Wallace Stevens
Ans: (C)

What common link do you find among
“The Disquieting Muses” by Sylvia Plath,
“The Starry Night” by Anne Sexton,
“Mourning Picture” by Adrienne Rich, and
“Musee des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden ?

(A) They inspired paintings.
(B) They are confessional poems.
(C) They are all inspired by paintings.
(D) They are all inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings.
Ans: (C)

‘The Lost Generation’ refers to the generation that came to maturity in the :
(A) 1920s
(B) 1930s
(C) 1910s
(D) 1940s
Ans: (A)

The new humanism school of philosophy and literary criticism was popular in America during :
(A) 1920-1940
(B) 1910-1930
(C) 1930-1940
(D) 1900-1910
Ans: (B)

“The Kelson of creation is love”. The line occurs in Walt Whitman’s :
(A) Paumonak
(B) Passage to India
(C) O Captain, My Captain
(D) Song of Myself
Ans: (D)

Match the character with the novel :
1. Caddy
2. Lennie
3. Jake Barnes
4. Tommy Wilhelm
5. The Sound and the Fury
6. Of Mice and Men
7. The Sun Also Rises
8. Seize the Day
Codes :
(A) 1-5 2-6 3-7 4-8
(B) 2-7 1-8 3-5 4-6
(C) 3-5 4-6 2-8 1-7
(D) 4-5 3-8 2-7 1-8
Ans: (A)

Who among the following writers belonged to the American Beat Movement ?
(A) Allen Ginsberg
(B) Mark Beard
(C) Isaac McCaslih
(D) Charles Beard
Ans: (A)

“The Lost Generation” is a name applied to the disillusioned intellectuals and aesthetes of the years following the First World War. Who called them “The Lost Generation” ?
(A) H.L. Mencken
(B) Willa Cather
(C) Jack London
(D) Gertrude Stein
Ans: (D)

Wallace Stevens’ “The Man with the Blue Guitar” may be linked to the work of the following artist :
(A) Modigliani
(B) Chagall
(C) Picasso
(D) Cezanne
Ans: (C)

Which of the following options is correct ?
(i) Transcendentalism was a philosophical and literary movement.
(ii) It flourished in the Southern States of America in the 19th century.
(iii) It was a reaction against 18th century rationalism and the skeptical philosophy of
(iv) Among the major texts of Transcendentalist thought are the essays of Emerson,
Thoreau’s Walden and the writings of Margaret Fuller.
(A) (i) and (iv) are correct.
(B) (ii) and (iii) are correct.
(C) (iii) and (iv) are correct.
(D) (iv) is correct.
Ans: (A)

David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life is a retelling of the story of :
(A) Aristotle
(B) Juvenal
(C) Ovid
(D) Horace
Ans: (C)

“Do I contradict myself ? Very well then, I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” The above lines are from…
(A) Walt Whitman
(B) Edgar Allan Poe
(C) Ralph Waldo Emerson
(D) John Greenleaf Whittier
Ans: (A)

Patrick White’s Voss is a novel about
(A) the sea
(B) the capital market
(C) the landscape
(D) the judicial system
Ans: (C)

The letter ‘A’ in The Scarlet Letter stands for
I. Adultery
II. Able
III. Angel
IV. Appetite

The correct combination for the statement, according to the code, is
(A) I and II are correct.
(B) II and III are correct.
(C) I, II and IV are correct.
(D) I, II and III are correct.
Ans: (D)

Which post-war British poet was involved in a disastrous marriage with Sylvia Plath ?
(A) Philip Larkin
(B) Ted Hughes
(C) Stevie Smith
(D) Geoffrey Hill
Ans: (B)

Who amongst the following is not a Jewish-American novelist ?
(A) J.D. Salinger
(B) Henry Greene
(C) William Faulkner
(D) Philip Roth
Ans: (B)

Isaac Bashevis Singer is an
(A) African-American writer
(B) American-Jewish writer
(C) American-Indian writer
(D) American-Asian writer
Ans: (B)

The character, Nathan Zuckerman, is associated with the fiction of
(A) Norman Mailer
(B) Saul Bellow
(C) Philip Roth
(D) Bernard Malamud
Ans: (C)

Match the following:
1. The Sage of Concord
2. The Nun of Amherst
3. Mark Twain
4. Old Possum
5. Emily Dickinson
6. R.W. Emerson
7. T.S. Eliot
8. Samuel L. Clemens

(A) 1–6; 2–5; 3–8; 4–7
(B) 1–5; 2–6; 3–7; 4–8
(C) 1–8; 2–7; 3–6; 4–5
(D) 1–7; 2–8; 3–5; 4–6
Ans: (A)

F. Turner’s famous hypothesis is that
(A) The Frontier has outlived its ideological utility in American civilization.
(B) The Frontier has posed a challenge to the American creative imagination.
(C) The Frontier has been the one great determinant of American civilization.
(D) The Frontier has been the one great deterrent to American progress.
Ans: (C)

List – I
I. “Because I could not stop for death…”
II. “O Captain ! My Captain!”
III. “Two roads diverged in a wood….”
IV. “So much depends /upon”
List – II
a. Robert Frost
b. William Carlos Williams
c. Emily Dickinson
d. Walt Whitman

The correctly matched series would be :
(A) I-d; II-c; III-b; IV-a
(B) I-a; II-b; III-c; IV-d
(C) I-b; II-a; III-d; IV-c
(D) I-c; II-d; III-a; IV-b
Ans: (D)

Which of the following novels is structured into a poem of 999 lines, preceded by a Foreword, followed by a Commentary and an Index?
(A) Ragtime
(B) Pale Fire
(C) The Inner Side of the Wind
(D) Hourglass
Ans: (B)

At the end of The Great Gatsby, the narrator Nick Carraway observes:
“They were careless people”. Who were they?

(A) Tom and Daisy
(B) The Wilsons
(C) Gatsby and his friends
(D) The people of East Egg
Ans: (A)

What common link do you find among
“The Disquieting Muses” by Sylvia Plath,
“The Starry Night” by Anne Sexton,
“Mourning Picture” by Adrienne Rich, and
“Musee des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden ?

(A) They inspired paintings.
(B) They are confessional poems.
(C) They are all inspired by paintings.
(D) They are all inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings.
Ans: (C)

Which of the following poems deals with neighbourly relations?
(A) “Birches”
(B) “Home Burial”
(C) “Mending Wall”
(D) “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
Ans: (C)

Who among the following poets defined free verse as playing tennis without a net?
(A) Robert Frost
(B) Ezra Pound
(C) Philip Larkin
(D) William Carlos Williams
Ans: (A)

Which American poet wrote: “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world”?
(A) Robert Lowell
(B) Walt Whitman
(C) Wallace Stevens
(D) Langston Hughes
Ans: (B)

Among the following playwrights, who was awarded the Pulitzer prize in 1920?
(A) Eugene O’Neill
(B) Sean O’Casey
(C) William Somerset Maugham
(D) J.B. Priestly
Ans: (A)

Who among the following is not an American modernist poet?
(A) William Carlos Williams
(B) Ezra Pound
(C) William Ellery Channing, the younger
(D) Marianne Moore
Ans: (C)

 Which of the following stories is NOT written by Nathaniel Hawthorne?
(A) “The Minister’s Black Veil”
(B) “Young Goodman Brown”
(C) “The Purloined Letter”
(D) “My Kinsman, Major Molineux”
Ans: (C)

What is the name of the boat that rescues Ishmael in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick?
(A) Pequod
(B) Rachel
(C) Hagar
(D) Sphinx
Ans: (B)

Poe’s “The Raven” mourns the death of Poe’s
(A) lost Lenore
(B) lost Abigail
(C) pet animal
(D) lost heritage
Ans: (A)

Who made the comment that, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn” ?
(A) Henry James
(B) William Faulkner
(C) Jack London
(D) Ernest Hemingway
Ans: (D)

Which of the following characters in Moby Dick falls overboard and turns insane as a result ?
(A) Pip
(B) Queequeg
(C) Starbuck
(D) Tashtego
Ans: (A)

Identify from the among the following list those that cannot be called War Fiction.
A. A Modern Instance
B. Catch – 22
C. The Age of Innocence
D. The Naked and the Dead.

(A) (a) and (b)
(B) (b) and (c)
(C) (a) and (c)
(D) (b) and (d)
Ans: (C)

Match the characters with the novels:
(a) Arthur Seaton (i) Top Girls
(b) Marlene (ii) The Golden Notebook
(c) Anna Wulf (iii) The Swimming Pool Library
(d) Beckwith (iv) Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

(a) (b) (c) (d)
1. (ii) (iii) (i) (iv)
2. (iv) (i) (ii) (iii)
3. (iii) (iv) (ii) (i)
4. (ii) (iv) (iii) (i)
Ans: (B)

Albert Camus borrows the following epigraph to his novel The Plague form________
“it is as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by another , as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists not,”

(A) James Hogg’s The Confessions of a Justified Sinner
(B) Jeremy Bentham’s the principles of morals and legislation
(C) Robert Burton’s the anatomy of melancholy
(D) Daniel Defoe’s robinson crusoe
Ans: (D)

Who among the following is mourned in Walt Whitman’s 0 Captain! My Captain!?
(A) R. W. Emerson
(B) John Keats
(C) P. B. Shelley
(D) Abraham Lincoln
Ans: (D)

Which one of the following groups of novelists has, in the given order, Captain Ahab, Hester Prynne, Roderick Usher and Daisy Miller as characters in their novels?
(A) Henry James, Edgar A. Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville
(B) Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar A. Poe, Henry James
(C) Edgar A. Poe, Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville
(D) Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar A. Poe, Henry James, Herman Melville
Ans: (B)

Which one of the following words best describes the heroes of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Mark Twain’s The Adventure: of Tom Sawyer and Thomas Mann’s The Confessions: of Felix Krull”?
(A) Ficelle
(B) Picaro
(C) Mannequin
(D) Philanderer
Ans: (B)

In the study of AngIo-American literatures, certain distinguished names in critical/editorial scholarship become synonymous with famous writers and periods of literary history.
Match the following names with their respective areas of scholarship :
(a) Edward Mendelson
(b) Jerome McGann
(c) Stanley Fish
(d) Hugh Kenner
(i) John Milton
(ii) Ezra Pound
(iii) W. H. Auden
(iv) Textual Scholarship
Choose the correct option from those given below :
(A) (a)-(ii); (b)-(i); (c)-(iv); (d)-(iii)
(B) (a)-(iii); (b)-(iv); (c)-(i); (d)-(ii)
(C) (a)-(iv); (b-iii); (c)-(ii); (d)-(i)
(D) (a)-(iii); (b)-(ii); (c)-(iv); (d)-(i)
Ans: (B)

Which of the following is a collaborative work of W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood?

(A) Letters from Iceland

(B) The Dance of Death

(C) The Ascent of F6

(D) The Orators

Ans: (C)

In which of the following poems does W.H. Auden call 1930s “a low dishonest decade”?
(A) “September 1, 1939”
(B) “In Memory of W.B. Yeats”
(C) “No Change of Place”
(D) “The Watershed”
Ans: (A)

Who is the author of the poems “Elegy for Mrs. Virginia Woolf” and “William Butler in Limbo”?
(A) Keith Douglas
(B) W.H. Auden
(C) Sidney Keyes
(D) Stephen Spender
Ans: (C)

Which one of the following observations of “Lost Generation”. A term coined by Gertude Stein, is correct?

(A) German Jews who survived the Second World War and went to Israel

(B) The American expatriates in Europe after the First World War

(C) The Irish Freedom fighters of the early Twentieth Century

(D) The European living in America

Ans: (B)

Who among the following are associated with the ‘Jazz Age’?

(A) Ernest hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald

(B) Scott fitzgerald and John Dos Passos

(C) John das passos and Sherwood Anderson

(D) Ernest Hemingway and Sherwood Anderson

Ans: (D)

According to his essay ‘Civil Disobedience. what two things did Thoreau learn from the night he spent in jail?
A. He concluded that the State is ultimately weak.
B. He realized that captivity inspires courage.
C. He realized that the neighbours are only friends during good times.
D. He concluded that captivity brings wisdom about human affairs.

Choose the correct answer from the options given below:
(a) A and B only
(b) A and C only
(c) A and D only
(d) C and D only
Ans: (b)

Which one of the following Sherlock Holmes stories refers to a significant event in English history?
(A) “The Musgrove Ritual”
(B) “The Speckled Band”
(C) “The Solitary Cyclist”
(D) “The Red-Headed League”
Ans: (A)

Which among the following novels includes a questionnaire for the reader such as -Do you like the story so far? Yes () No ()’?
(A) Mantissa by John Fowles
(B) Waterland by Graham Swift
(C) Snow White by Donald Barthelme
(D) If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by halo Calvin
Ans: (C)

Match List I and List II

List I

A. Thomas Pynchon
B. Howard Jacobson
C. Anthony Burgess
D. John Berger

List II

I. G.

Choose the correct answer from the options given below:
a) A – II, B – IV, C – I, D – III
b) A – II, B – III, C – IV, D – I
c) A – II, B – III, C – I, D – IV
d) A – IV, B – III, C – I, D – II
Ans: (b)

1 thought on “American Literature – (Previous Year Questions NET | GATE)”

  1. These 3000+ questions r a blast for every aspirant…. I have read only these questions n m sooo grateful to u fr such efforts.


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