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. Who did Ponce de Leon's pilot previously work for?

2. Why does Columbus count fewer leagues than he knows he has traveled?

3. What causes the Puritan elders to finally get fed up with Thomas Morton?

4. Why isn't the French Conquest as severe as the Spanish one?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Gregory think that history is important?

3. How did Freydis trick her husband? What happened as a result?

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

5. How does Poe respond to his critics?

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

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

8. What does Williams think about Lincoln's assassin?

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

10. 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?

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

Write an essay in which you compare and contrast the characters of Thomas Morton and Cotton Mather. How are the two men similar? How are they different? Could they have gotten along if they had lived in the same community? Why or why not? Use evidence from In the American Grain to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

In "Descent," Williams remarks, "There is nothing for a man but genius or despair." At the time, Williams was writing about Sam Houston. However, he makes the remark more generally. Consider the other historical figures who are included in this book. Can it be said of each of them that there was nothing for them but genius or despair? Pick three historical figures from In the American Grain. Write an essay reflecting on whether or not Williams' statement about genius and despair is true for each of the people you choose. Support your arguments with evidence from In the American Grain.

(see the answer keys)

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