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. Who is the only person in America who can live a life of leisure, like a gentleman, according to an early American saying that Franklin mentions?

2. What does Poe call Longfellow?

3. What kind of position is Jones' squadron in when the battle begins?

4. Who raises Sam Houston during the early years of his life?

5. What moral weakness does the narrator comment on in Washington?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Aaron Burr appears in two of Williams' essays, "Jacataqua," and "The Virtue of History." Consider Aaron Burr's character in light of all that Williams says in "Jacataqua" about the American tendency to avoid touch, to be spiritually impoverished, and to keep women locked up by creating a culture in which women fear the loss of their virginity. Write an essay in which you judge Burr by the standards set forth in "Jacataqua." Support your thesis with evidence from both essays.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay in which you analyze the structure that William uses to relate the story of Columbus and his voyages. Why does Williams alternate between his own point of view and that of Columbus? Why does he alternate between Columbus' experiences in the New World and his experiences in the Old? Explain.

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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