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

John Williams
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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. McDonald warns Andrews not to talk to hunters in town for what reason?

2. Who calls into question Miller's recollection of the sought valley's location just before the hunting party reaches it?

3. On what object does Andrews have to keep his eyes fixed in order to follow the hunting party once the land becomes flat?

4. Andrews is told that McDonald can be found in "a little shack just this side of" (15) what feature?

5. McDonald asks Andrews for a favor before he leaves McDonald's presence. What is it?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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)?

2. How is foreshadowing employed within the scene focusing on Charley's lost hand?

3. What is the first real danger faced by the buffalo hunting party at the center of the story?

4. What is the symbolism of the Smoky Hill trail?

5. What is the main hardship Andrews faces in the first days of the hunting expedition?

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

7. 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?

8. What signs does the hunting party see that point to the presence of buffalo before they actually see any?

9. For what purpose does Andrews immediately seek McDonald when he reaches Butcher's Crossing?

10. How does the dream motif appear within the passages of Andrews's anticipation of the hunting expedition?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the author's use of literary devices such as metaphors, similes, and personification and the devices' ability to make the story of Butcher's Crossing come alive for the reader.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the author's choice to tell the story of John Williams's novel Butcher's Crossing using the third person omniscient point-of-view. What elements of the novel's themes lend themselves to this choice and what is the author's intended effect on the reader?

Essay Topic 3

How does the theme of courage function within the novel and what is the author's message regarding this theme?

(see the answer keys)

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