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. Why do the Aztecs have two aqueducts?

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

3. What happens to the girl Ponce de Leon gives a gold crucifix to?

4. Why does the narrator say that Raleigh is now in Hell?

5. What is Columbus' point when he makes the following statement: "I was twenty-eight years old when I came into your Highnesses' service, and now I have not a hair upon me that is not gray; my body is infirm..."

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What kind of person does Williams say that Daniel Boone is?

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 Williams think that Benjamin Franklin would say are the most important American virtues? Does Williams agree with Franklin? Why or why not?

5. In his letter to Benjamin Franklin, why does John Paul Jones keep bringing up the conduct of Captain Landais?

6. What is Ponce de Leon's dog doing when he is killed?

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

8. 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?

9. How could Raleigh have avoided being beheaded?

10. What were the markets like in Tenochtitlan?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In "Jacataqua," Williams argues that some kinds of violence are not crimes of passion, but rather are crimes of starvation -- spiritual starvation. Write an essay explaining Williams' views on spiritual poverty and wealth, and spiritual fullness and starvation. Use quotations from In the American Grain to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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