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. With whom did the Band play from 1965 to 1966, helping him and themselves to improve and gain popularity?

2. What is the "old American idea" that the worried man is stuck in according to Marcus?

3. What was Johnson's instrument of choice?

4. Who says "Instead of throwing a knapsack over your back and getting out on the highway, to learn about life, we were able to do it together. We were protected by one another"?

5. Whom does Marcus claim puts the pieces together to find meaning in the music?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Describe Harmonica Frank. What did he do? What did he look like? What made him unique?

5. In "The Band," what is significant about a group according to Marcus in "Crossing the Border"?

6. According to Marcus in the introduction to "The Band," what message did The Band send to its audience?

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Elvis is a man but he is also a symbol. In an essay discuss at least three concepts that Elvis came to symbolize. How does he symbolize these concepts? What did he do to reinforce these conceptions?

Essay Topic 2

Greil Marcus discusses The Band, Sly Stone, Randy Newman, and Elvis as the inheritors of Harmonica Frank's and Robert Johnson's music. In an essay identify how Harmonica Frank and Robert Johnson are ancestors.

Essay Topic 3

The Band used a lot of symbolism in their songs. Focusing on one or two of the songs discussed in Mystery Train, write an essay examining the symbols used in the song. How does this use of symbolism affect the song? How does it affect your understanding of that song?

(see the answer keys)

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