In the American Grain Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Ponce de Leon die?

2. Who does Columbus write to while he is on his return voyage?

3. What does Cotton Mather think about the gods of the Indian nations?

4. How does the narrator describe the descendants of the Puritans?

5. Based on the passage narrated by Eric the Red, which phrase do you think best describes Eric's character?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did enslaved Africans react to the Christian religion, according to Williams?

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

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

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

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

6. Why does Ponce de Leon send women ashore when he first arrives in Guadaloupe?

7. What does Cotton Mather say went wrong before the witches appeared?

8. How could Raleigh have avoided being beheaded?

9. What do you think will happen to the "credulous and literal-minded" if they walk into the "ancient trap" that Gregory considers history to be?

10. What kind of person does Williams say that Daniel Boone is?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Does Williams admire Sir Walter Raleigh? Why or why not? Support your answer with evidence from In the American Grain.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Consider In the American Grain as a whole. What do you think William Carlos Williams is trying to tell his readers about the American national character? Do you think Williams believes there is just one national character, or several? How was the national character shaped? What do most Americans believe about their own identities as Americans? Write a strong thesis and develop it by relating examples from the book and responding to them.

(see the answer keys)

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