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 is Juan Ortiz?

2. What does the narrator say about the Puritan soul?

3. What author does Gregory say is never accused of being insincere?

4. Who or what is Mabilla?

5. Why is Ponce de Leon free to go exploring in Florida?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Columbus puzzled by the way the King and Queen treat him?

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

3. Why does George Washington not especially want to be President?

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

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

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

7. What are De Soto's relations with the Indians like?

8. What was Raleigh's relationship with Queen Elizabeth?

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

10. Why did the English put a price on Pire Rasles' head? Why did they want him killed?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Jacataqua," Williams argues that some kinds of violence are not crimes of passion, but rather are crimes of starvation -- spiritual starvation. Write an essay explaining Williams' views on spiritual poverty and wealth, and spiritual fullness and starvation. Use quotations from In the American Grain to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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