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. Who does Gregory say is depicted more boldly by Williams than by any other writer?
(a) Aaron Burr.
(b) Cotton Mather.
(c) Abraham Lincoln.
(d) George Washington.

2. 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 demonstrate that history must judge the actions of historical figures.
(b) To suggest that even Williams cannot answer all of history's questions.
(c) To prove that Walter Raleigh was a coward.
(d) To show the lyricism of Williams' prose.

3. What author does Gregory say is never accused of being insincere?
(a) William Carlos Williams.
(b) Benjamin Franklin.
(c) Alexander Hamilton.
(d) Homer.

4. What happens when the Greenlanders fight with the people they meet in the New World?
(a) The Greenlanders are defeated by the people of the New World and flee in shame.
(b) Eric the Red appears with a group of young Greenlander sailors, and the Greenlanders gain the advantage in the fight.
(c) The other Greenlanders begin to flee, but Freydis grabs a sword and fights so hard that she frightens their enemies into fleeing.
(d) Helgi and Finnbogi save Freydis' life, rescuing her just as their enemies in the New World were about to kill her.

5. Which of the following quotations reveals Williams' opinion of Cortez?
(a) "...Nothing at the present moment seemed to disturb his aristocratic reserve."
(b) "Spain cannot be blamed for the crassness of the discoverers."
(c) "Courageous almost beyond precedent, tactful, resourceful in misfortune..."
(d) "With the force bred of a determination to face at any cost a situation fast going beyond his control..."

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the death of Juan Ortiz affect De Soto?

2. Which of the following is one of the goals, listed by Cotton Mather, that the Puritans have in mind when they found their colonies?

3. What is Tenochtitlan like?

4. When does De Soto plan to send word about his expedition to Maldonado?

5. Why are the Puritans important, according to the narrator?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the narrator of "Sir Walter Raleigh" imply when he exhorts the Muse to sing of "the pursuit of beauty and the husk that remains," or when he says that Raleigh's England became "a mouthful of smoke sucked from the embers of a burnt weed"?

2. What happens to Columbus' sailors when the weather is bad and the ships go through violent storms?

3. How does Williams explain the fact that Aaron Burr was never made ambassador to France, even though he was recommended three times for the appointment, and that he was never made Brigadier General, even though he was ready for the post?

4. What does Cotton Mather say went wrong before the witches appeared?

5. What did William Carlos Williams think was most admirable about the Puritans?

6. Why does Williams describe the New World as a white flower that was to turn into a poisoned apple?

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

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

9. How did enslaved Africans react to the Christian religion, according to Williams?

10. Why does Benjamin Franklin say that manufacturing is not a viable activity in the American economy?

(see the answer keys)

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