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 Bridget Bishop attempts to plead not guilty?

2. Who tells Ponce de Leon there is a fountain of youth?

3. What does Williams think was the motive of the person who told Ponce de Leon there was a fountain of youth?

4. What does Eric the Red say that his life is like now that he has been exiled?

5. What adjective does the narrator use to describe the Pilgrims' eagerness to share their beliefs?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

4. What does Williams say is the reason Americans focus on science and inventions?

5. Why did the English put a price on Pire Rasles' head? Why did they want him killed?

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

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

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

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

10. 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"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Consider the story of Pere Rasles. Why do you think William Carlos Williams admires Rasles so much? Write an essay explaining Williams' admiration for Rasles, supporting your thesis with evidence from In the American Grain. Do not rely only on evidence that you can find in the chapter, Pere Sebastian Rasles--include evidence from other chapters as well.

(see the answer keys)

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