Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music 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 does Marcus say each performer he will discuss in the book attempts to do?

2. What type of art does Marcus think rock 'n' roll is?

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

4. What type of music did Harmonica Frank sing?

5. According to Marcus in "Robert Johnson -1938," what gives music "mythical authority"?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "The Band," why do the other members of the Band become known as Robbie Robertson's foil?

2. According to Marcus in "The Band," why is the story of Virgil Cane in "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" appealing to all Americans?

3. According to the prologue, what is Greil Marcus' purpose in writing Mystery Train?

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

5. In the section entitled "The Weight" in "The Band," what does Dominique Robertson have to say about living in Woodstock? What does this say about community?

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

7. Describe the example of an artist that Greil Marcus uses in the prologue. Who is an artist and why? Why are the other people in the example not artists?

8. According to Marcus in "Harmonica Frank -1951," why would Lyndon Johnson and Harmonica Frank get along?

9. Why might "The Band" be subtitled "Pilgrim's Progress"?

10. In "Harmonica Frank - 1951," what exactly is the American spirit that Marcus believes Harmonica Frank brought to rock n' roll?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay analyzing the images used in one or two of Robert Johnson's songs. What emotions do they convey? What meaning can be derived from his choice of words?

Essay Topic 2

The archetypal theme, desire for freedom, is more than apparent in Harmonica Frank's style and life. Write an essay analyzing how this is an archetypal theme and how Harmonica Frank represents it in his music and life.

Essay Topic 3

The Great Divide is a strong image used by the band and one that merited discussion by Greil Marcus in "The Band." In an essay examine why the Band would be drawn to this image. How is it metaphoric? What does it mean? How is it American?

(see the answer keys)

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