Butcher's Crossing Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

John Williams
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Whom does McDonald describe as not knowing "what to do with themselves" (22)?
(a) Women.
(b) Young people.
(c) City-dwellers.
(d) Hunters.

2. How is the protagonist's facial complexion described?
(a) Swarthy.
(b) Pockmarked.
(c) Fair.
(d) Freckled.

3. What term does Miller give the "huge saucerlike depression" (81) the party comes upon?
(a) A buffalo wallow.
(b) A fault line.
(c) A buffalo bathtub.
(d) A former watering hole.

4. What color is the Smoky Hill River?
(a) Green.
(b) Gray.
(c) Brown.
(d) Blue.

5. At the start of the novel, the as-yet-unnamed protagonist rides within a stagecoach on its way to what town to Butcher's Crossing?
(a) Bullock.
(b) Ellsworth.
(c) Swearingen.
(d) Garrett.

Short Answer Questions

1. From what city had Andrews originally begun his journey to Butcher's Crossing?

2. Who rides beside Andrews throughout the hunting expedition?

3. When the hunting party camps on the open prairie, how much water is left after they allow the horses and oxen to drink?

4. How many weeks of provisions does the hunting party bring on the trip?

5. Miller states that the people who come to collect the buffalo bones will use the bones for what purpose?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Miller think is Schneider's real reason for wanting to deviate from the party's planned path to water?

2. What is Andrews's true aim in coming to Butcher's Crossing?

3. What does the hunting party's thirst symbolize?

4. What is the author's reason for including McDonald's comment to Andrews that "Young folks…don't know what to do with themselves" (22)?

5. What are Miller's reasons for choosing the destination he does for the buffalo hunting expedition?

6. What is shown about Andrews's character in the passage when he tries to summon the images of the Colorado territory he has seen in books and magazines?

7. What distinction does Miller make between Boston prostitutes and Butcher's Crossing prostitutes?

8. When Andrews is unable to explain to McDonald his esoteric reasons for coming west, what does he tell McDonald instead?

9. How does the theme of racism arise within the character of Miller?

10. What query is made within the letter from Andrews's father to McDonald and how does McDonald respond?

(see the answer keys)

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