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 William Carlos Williams say is the most important thing to remember about people who are descended from Africans who were brought to the Americas in slavery?

2. How does Captain Landais' insubordination to John Paul Jones begin?

3. When does Houston defeat Santa Ana?

4. How does Jones say he reacted to the damage incurred by the Bon Homme Richard?

5. What does Williams say that many American crimes are caused by?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Consider Williams' statement, "History, history! We fools, what do we know or care? History begins for us with murder and enslavement, not with discovery. No, we are not Indians but we are men of their world. The blood means nothing; the spirit, the ghost of the land moves in the blood, moves the blood." What does Williams mean? Do you agree with him or disagree? Write an essay in which you react to his statements.

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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