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

2. Which chapter does Gregory say is in some ways the product of the era in which it was written?

3. What happens when the Greenlanders fight with the people they meet in the New World?

4. How does the death of Juan Ortiz affect De Soto?

5. Which of the following is NOT a term used by the narrator to describe Queen Elizabeth?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Why does Gregory think that history is important?

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

7. What does William Carlos Williams think of Eric the Red? What kind of person does he think Eric is?

8. Why does Houston leave the Cherokees after they have raised him? Why does he return to them?

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

10. What were the markets like in Tenochtitlan?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Aaron Burr appears in two of Williams' essays, "Jacataqua," and "The Virtue of History." Consider Aaron Burr's character in light of all that Williams says in "Jacataqua" about the American tendency to avoid touch, to be spiritually impoverished, and to keep women locked up by creating a culture in which women fear the loss of their virginity. Write an essay in which you judge Burr by the standards set forth in "Jacataqua." Support your thesis with evidence from both essays.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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