Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. In the Prologue, Marcus says that the music he will discuss dramatizes what?
(a) The war.
(b) Life in the projects.
(c) What it means to be American.
(d) The racial tensions of the time.

2. What does Marcus say each performer he will discuss in the book attempts to do?
(a) Entertain.
(b) Make music for money.
(c) Create oneself.
(d) Redefine love.

3. According to Marcus in "Robert Johnson -1938," what gives music "mythical authority"?
(a) When the songs attract fans.
(b) When the music reflects life.
(c) When the singer uses a deeper tenor.
(d) When the music tells a story.

4. What "spirit" does Harmonica Frank have that Marcus believes is truly American?
(a) Tender and free.
(b) Crazy and chaotic.
(c) Unrepentant and free.
(d) Cruel and truthful.

5. From what feeling does Robert Johnson pull his images?
(a) Desolation.
(b) Fear.
(c) Anger.
(d) Hope.

Short Answer Questions

1. The song "We Can Talk About It Now" creates what kind of image?

2. What is the name of The Band's second album?

3. In "The Band," what is Marcus' "sentimental favorite" American motto?

4. In "The Band," to what does Marcus compare the song "We Can Talk About It Now"?

5. Who wrote the book discussed in the Prologue?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the relationship between the rock 'n' roll artist and audience according to Greil Marcus in the prologue?

2. There are several dualisms that Marcus identifies the Band reflecting on in "The Righteous Land " section of "The Band." What are two of these dualisms and what aspect of America do they reflect?

3. In "The Band," what happens when the Band plays in San Francisco after releasing their first two albums?

4. In the prologue, what four artists does Marcus say he will write about and why these performers?

5. What imagery does Robert Johnson often use in his music? What do these images convey?

6. Who is Marcus' audience for Mystery Train and how do you know?

7. Marcus analyzes Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway" in "Robert Johnson -1938." What is the song about and what are the tools that Johnson uses to create the mood?

8. According to Marcus in "The Band," who is the storyteller in Big Pink and what is his story?

9. Compare and contrast Ahab and Huck using Marcus' descriptions from "Harmonica Frank - 1951." How are they different? How are they similar?

10. Just before "The Righteous Land," Marcus quotes from "We Can Talk About It Now." The storyteller in the song tells "there's no need to slave. The whip . . . is in the grave" (53). What type of imagery does this line have and what does it mean?

(see the answer keys)

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