In the American Grain 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 happens to Columbus on his return from his second voyage?

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. What happens when Raleigh returns to England after his son's death?

4. Why does Williams criticize historian A. C. Adams at the beginning of "The May-Pole at Merry Mount"?

5. Who does the narrator address "Sir Walter Raleigh" to?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why did Williams compare the Puritans to dwarves in fairy tales? What does he mean by this?

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

4. How is Morton treated by his captors?

5. What does the narrator say that the Puritans would see if they looked inside their hearts?

6. Why does Williams find Champlain delightful?

7. Why does Gregory not fully appreciate the chapter on Cotton Mather?

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

9. Why does George Washington not especially want to be President?

10. What role does Williams say that Edgar Allen Poe plays in American literature?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the end of "Poor Richard," Williams states, "...almost nothing remains of the great American New World but a memory of the Indian." What do you think Williams means by this? Write an essay explaining the connection of the Indian to the American Grain. Support your answer with evidence from the book.

Essay Topic 2

What does Williams mean when he says that fear drove Benjamin Franklin's curiosity, that he built a nation based on the desire to huddle and protect? Write an essay explaining why you think Williams might feel this way. Support your answer with evidence from the book.

Essay Topic 3

Consider Williams' statement, "History, history! We fools, what do we know or care? History begins for us with murder and enslavement, not with discovery. No, we are not Indians but we are men of their world. The blood means nothing; the spirit, the ghost of the land moves in the blood, moves the blood." What does Williams mean? Do you agree with him or disagree? Write an essay in which you react to his statements.

(see the answer keys)

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