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 book does the young woman from Philadelphia show Ryszard?

2. What is the name of the hotel in which Julian and Ryszard stay in New York City?

3. What was the name of one of the articles Ryszard sent to the Gazetta Polska?

4. What is Maryna wearing at the celebration party after her performance?

5. Who played one of the principle roles in the first play Maryna sees in a theatre?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to her monologue at the end of Chapter One, why is Maryna ready to leave acting and try something new?

2. 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?

3. In Chapter One, what scene does Maryna give Krystyna to act out? Why?

4. Who does Ryszard meet in the lounge of a whorehouse in New York City? What is important about the introduction Ryszard makes to the man? What do the two men talk about? What important thing does the man confirm for Ryszard?

5. While hiding at the celebration party, the narrator pieces together the people in the room and the subject of their discussions. What does she gather about the people in the room and the plan underway?

6. Maryna relates the story of her childhood to various people in Chapter One. Discuss her childhood and the influences on her life.

7. 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?

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

9. 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?

10. How does Maryna talk about the passenger who went overboard on the ship? Why does she talk so much about the incident? What are her speculations as to what happened? What are her feelings?

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

How does Maryna treat the men in her life, including her son, Piotr? Does she take any of them seriously? What examples from the book support her love for the men in her life? How does this contrast with the way men treat her?

Essay Topic 3

At the Thanksgiving dinner, Bogdan begins the tradition of asking everyone at the table what they are thankful for at this time. What are some of the things people at the table are thankful for? What kind of foreshadowing does this scene create for the collapse of the commune?

(see the answer keys)

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