In the American Grain Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Williams say that American families cheat their daughters out of by trying to frighten them into delaying the loss of their virginity?

2. What does the narrator say was the place where Washington most liked to be?

3. What does Williams say that Lincoln should be depicted as when a sculpture is made to memorialize him?

4. When does Houston defeat Santa Ana?

5. How can Boone's attitude toward Indians best be described?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In the Introduction, Horace Gregory writes that "History is a humiliating subject for any man to think of knowing...The desire to know history is a near relative of the desire to know truth, and that is where, for most of us, a pit lies waiting." Does William Carlos Williams avoid the pit, or fall into it? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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.

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.

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