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 when Ponce de Leon and his men first land among the Caribs?

2. Who is Freydis?

3. What incident "greatly annoys" Champlain and delays the construction of Quebec?

4. Williams, referring to the King's and Queen's promises to Columbus, remarks, "What power had such ridiculous little promises to stay a man against that terrific downpour on the brink of which they were all floating?". What promises is Williams referring to?

5. What does Columbus do when he thinks the ship might capsize?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Champlain's reaction to hearing that there will be an attempt on his life?

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

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

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

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

6. How did Williams think that bodily suffering affected the Pilgrims?

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

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

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

10. How is Morton treated by his captors?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

William Carlos Williams includes, as part of In the American Grain, several essays about historical figures who served in the military: George Washington, John Paul Jones, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton. How does military life fit into the American Grain? Does military life only affect those who serve in the military, or is it also a part of being American for those who never do any military service? Write an essay responding to this question in which you cite the experiences of these four men as they are depicted in Williams' essays, and also draw upon your own experiences and values in contemporary America.

Essay Topic 2

Does Williams admire Sir Walter Raleigh? Why or why not? Support your answer with evidence from In the American Grain.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay in which you compare "The Voyage of the Mayflower" with "Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World." In "The Voyage of the Mayflower," Williams implies that Puritan values gave rise to the Salem witch trials. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Support your answer with examples from In the American Grain.

(see the answer keys)

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