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 people do Karlsefni and Snorri find in the New World?

2. What adjective does the narrator use to describe the Pilgrims' eagerness to share their beliefs?

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

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

5. What happens to Columbus on his return from his second voyage?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is "De Soto and the New World" narrated?

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

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

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

6. Why does Williams describe the New World as a white flower that was to turn into a poisoned apple?

7. Why does Ponce de Leon forget his dog when he is driven away from Guadaloupe?

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

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

10. What is the one moral failing that Williams mentions that George Washington has? How does this failing affect Washington?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the story of Pere Rasles. Why do you think William Carlos Williams admires Rasles so much? Write an essay explaining Williams' admiration for Rasles, supporting your thesis with evidence from In the American Grain. Do not rely only on evidence that you can find in the chapter, Pere Sebastian Rasles--include evidence from other chapters as well.

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

In "Descent," Williams remarks, "There is nothing for a man but genius or despair." At the time, Williams was writing about Sam Houston. However, he makes the remark more generally. Consider the other historical figures who are included in this book. Can it be said of each of them that there was nothing for them but genius or despair? Pick three historical figures from In the American Grain. Write an essay reflecting on whether or not Williams' statement about genius and despair is true for each of the people you choose. Support your arguments with evidence from In the American Grain.

(see the answer keys)

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