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 is Ponce de Leon free to go exploring in Florida?

2. Which statement shows that Gregory believes that most people revere history without understanding it?

3. Who or what is Mabilla?

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

5. Why do the Puritans have such a strong impact on the national character, according to the narrator?

Short Essay Questions

1. How could Raleigh have avoided being beheaded?

2. Why did De Soto's men try to keep the Indians from finding out about his death?

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

4. 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"?

5. What proof does Cotton Mather offer to show that witches can make themselves invisible?

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

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

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

9. What were the markets like in Tenochtitlan?

10. How did Pire Rasles treat the Abnaki?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the Introduction, Horace Gregory writes that "History is a humiliating subject for any man to think of knowing...The desire to know history is a near relative of the desire to know truth, and that is where, for most of us, a pit lies waiting." Does William Carlos Williams avoid the pit, or fall into it? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

How does Williams regard America's Founding Fathers? Find the chapters in which Williams writes about some of the Founding Fathers and determine what characteristics of these men Williams admired, and what characteristics he regarded as pernicious. Then, write an essay describing Williams' attitude toward the Founding Fathers, drawing on the evidence that you collected to support your work.

(see the answer keys)

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