In the American Grain Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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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. What happens to Columbus when he finally makes it back to Spain?
(a) Storms make it impossible to set sail again for several months.
(b) He loses his religious faith and decides to leave the Church.
(c) He is accused of making a deal with the King of Portugal.
(d) The King and Queen refuse to finance any future trips to the New World.

2. What kind of woman is Freydis?
(a) Fierce.
(b) Dedicated.
(c) Submissive.
(d) Foolish.

3. How does the narrator describe the descendants of the Puritans?
(a) As malfeasant ghosts.
(b) As beloved friends.
(c) As profane and lusty seamen.
(d) As a "race incapable of flower."

4. Toward the end of the introduction, Gregory quotes the following passage: "Question him in hell, O Muse, where he has gone, and when there is an answer, sing and make clear the reasons that he gave for that last blow. Why did he send his son into that tropic jungle and not go himself, upon so dangerous an errand?" Why does Gregory include this quote?
(a) To suggest that even Williams cannot answer all of history's questions.
(b) To prove that Walter Raleigh was a coward.
(c) To demonstrate that history must judge the actions of historical figures.
(d) To show the lyricism of Williams' prose.

5. Which statement shows that Gregory believes that most people revere history without understanding it?
(a) "History, like poetry, is an ancient trap laid for the credulous and narrow-minded."
(b) "In the reading and interpretation of history everything falls dead unless that reality is perceived."
(c) "There must be imagination at work to discern the fabulae of history."
(d) "The serious historian of the ancient world is careful never to forget his Homer."

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Gregory say is depicted more boldly by Williams than by any other writer?

2. After Champlain picks out the site for the city and the men start working, what new complication arises to delay the progress of the building?

3. At the beginning of the Introduction, Horace Gregory quotes William Carlos Williams as saying "History, history! We fools, what do we know or care?" What does Gregory think Williams means by this?

4. Why does Cortez finally burn the city?

5. What is the overall tone of Williams' remarks about the Puritans?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was shocking to the Puritans about slave society?

2. Why does the narrator hold Raleigh responsible for Raleigh's son's death?

3. What were some of the dangers faced by sailors on ships during a battle at sea?

4. Why does Ponce de Leon send women ashore when he first arrives in Guadaloupe?

5. How does the cacique of Quigaltam react when De Soto tells him that De Soto is the "child of the sun" and must be obeyed and offered tribute?

6. How do Columbus' voyages east, returning to Spain, differ from his voyages west, heading to the New World?

7. What was Raleigh's relationship with Queen Elizabeth?

8. What was Montezuma's life like in the capital?

9. How could Raleigh have avoided being beheaded?

10. How is "De Soto and the New World" narrated?

(see the answer keys)

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