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 is Thomas Morton?
(a) A colonist.
(b) A soldier.
(c) A writer.
(d) A historian.

2. How often does Montezuma change his clothes?
(a) Four times a month.
(b) Four times a year.
(c) Four times a day.
(d) Four times a week.

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

4. What pet is Ponce de Leon especially attached to?
(a) A bird.
(b) A dog.
(c) A cat.
(d) A snake.

5. 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 prove that Walter Raleigh was a coward.
(c) To suggest that even Williams cannot answer all of history's questions.
(d) To show the lyricism of Williams' prose.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the outcome of Freydis' actions?

2. Why do the Aztecs have two aqueducts?

3. What happens to Columbus on his return from his second voyage?

4. Who is Freydis?

5. In his conclusion, what word does Gregory use to characterize Williams' prose?

Short Essay Questions

1. Gregory says that In the American Grain is not a historical textbook or book of essays. What is it?

2. What are De Soto's relations with the Indians like?

3. What is the one moral failing that Williams mentions that George Washington has? How does this failing affect Washington?

4. Why does Ponce de Leon forget his dog when he is driven away from Guadaloupe?

5. Why does Williams say that Mendelberg is like a woman as he conducts his orchestra? How is Lincoln like Mendelberg?

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

7. How is Morton treated by his captors?

8. 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?

9. Why do the Puritan leaders think that Thomas Morton should not barter in guns or liquor?

10. Does Williams blame Cortez for what happened to Tenochtitlan?

(see the answer keys)

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