The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. The author claims that Alice's father came from Polish patriotic stock. What in Alice's history causes the author to make such a statement?

Alice's great-granduncle raised a regiment for Napoleon and acted as a colonel. Additionally, his father left home to fight at the barricades in Paris.

2. What caused Alice's grandfather to leave Paris?

Although he was fighting for a cause, his wife wanted him to return home to be a respectable landowner. Therefore, she cut off all supplies to the front so he would have no choice but to return home.

3. Why is it difficult for Alice to relate to her family's military service?

Alice does not relate to violence and instead prefers to focus on more pleasurable tasks such as needlework and gardening.

4. What caused Alice to throw herself into literature after having spent so much time studying music?

Alice discovered Henry James' An Awkward Age and thought it should be adapted into a play.

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