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 does Columbus want to do instead of traveling to the New World again?

2. What does Gregory say about the way in which the reputation of In the American Grain grew?

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

4. When Columbus finally lands in Spain after his second voyage, what happens to him?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Ponce de Leon travel around the Caribbean? What was his business there?

2. How does Williams say that Boone differs from other settlers?

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

4. 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?

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

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

7. What were some of the dangers faced by sailors on ships during a battle at sea?

8. How does Eric the Red feel about living in Greenland?

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

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

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

Consider Williams' statement, "History, history! We fools, what do we know or care? History begins for us with murder and enslavement, not with discovery. No, we are not Indians but we are men of their world. The blood means nothing; the spirit, the ghost of the land moves in the blood, moves the blood." What does Williams mean? Do you agree with him or disagree? Write an essay in which you react to his statements.

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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