In the American Grain Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In the Introduction, Horace Gregory writes that "History is a humiliating subject for any man to think of knowing...The desire to know history is a near relative of the desire to know truth, and that is where, for most of us, a pit lies waiting." Does William Carlos Williams avoid the pit, or fall into it? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Why do you think Williams chooses to tell the stories of Eric the Red and Freydis? What makes these tales part of the American grain? Use evidence from the narratives to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay in which you analyze the structure that William uses to relate the story of Columbus and his voyages. Why does Williams alternate between his own point of view and that of Columbus? Why does he alternate between Columbus' experiences in the New World and...

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