In America 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 does Maryna declare at the end of Chapter One?

2. To whom is Maryna writing in Chapter 4?

3. Where do Maryna, Aniela, and Piotr go on an excursion from New York?

4. What does Ryszard find when he goes below to the steerage portion of the ship?

5. What book does the young woman from Philadelphia show Ryszard?

Short Essay Questions

1. On his passage to America, Ryszard spends time listening to English speaking passengers. He meets many Americans. How does he describe the American attitude about their country? How does this differ from the way Ryszard sees himself as a Pole?

2. While he is in the steerage section of the ship, Ryszard is brought by a deckhand to meet a bedraggled man. This man offers his niece, Nora, to Ryszard. What kinds of emotions does Ryszard have while below the ship in steerage? How does this experience change him?

3. Once on board the ship, the narrator gives a detailed description of the steerage section of the ship. What is the steerage section, who travels steerage, and what stigma does it hold?

4. In Chapter Zero, the narrator gives us a picture of Maryna by quoting her saying "we must always ask more of ourselves." What conclusions does the narrator draw from this statement and Maryna's behavior at the party?

5. Why does Maryna go to Henryk's office in Chapter One? What do we learn about her brother Stefan? What do we learn about Maryna?

6. In Chapter Four, Maryna explains that in some places, the oldest is best. However, in America she says "biggest is best." What does she mean by this? What does she see that supports her observation? Is she displeased by this?

7. The group establishes their first commune in Zakopane. What are some of the activities described in the chapter necessary to sustain their community? What do they do in the town for the local community?

8. While finishing his article on the transatlantic journey, Ryszard goes to Caste Clinton to see how the steerage passengers are experiencing their introduction to their new home. What does he see there? Why is this important?

9. In Chapter Zero, from whose voice is the story told? Who is the narrator? What does the narrator reveal about herself?

10. The first of the immigrants to leave, Julian and Ryszard travel together to America. What is Ryszard anticipating for the trip? What kind of man does he hope to be when he lands in America?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ryszard thinks a great deal about class and privilege while on board the Germania on his way to America. Is the ship an analogy of a social system in America? Discuss this analogy and how accurate it is for America during the late nineteenth century as described in the novel.

Essay Topic 2

What is the importance of the discussion Maryna has with Mrs. Welton? What important thing does Maryna reveal to Mrs. Welton that has not been revealed previously? Why does Maryna believe she has the right to criticize America?

Essay Topic 3

Maryna spends time touring in England. How is she received in England? How does she react to the English? What is the gist of the conversation she has with Henry James at the dinner party given by Lady Wolsington?

(see the answer keys)

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