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 does the narrator say that the Puritans went on to persecute later?

2. What happens to Columbus when he finally makes it back to Spain?

3. What happens to the girl Ponce de Leon gives a gold crucifix to?

4. What title does the narrator give Raleigh?

5. What prevents Raleigh from going to the Virginia colonies?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Pire Rasles treat the Abnaki?

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

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

4. 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?

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

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

7. 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?

8. What was Aaron Burr like, according to Williams?

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

10. What does the narrator say that the Puritans would see if they looked inside their hearts?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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