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 "spirit" does Harmonica Frank have that Marcus believes is truly American?

2. What album does Marcus say belongs to Richard Manuel in "The Band?

3. According to Marcus in "Robert Johnson -1938," what is the American struggle?

4. Who sang "Fool about mah money/don't try to save"?

5. In "The Band," what problem does Marcus reveal about The Band's sense of community?

Short Essay Questions

1. What type of music was Sam Phillips attempting to find and why?

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

4. According to Marcus in "Robert Johnson -1938," how are Robert Johnson's songs relevant even today? What artist's keep his spirit and music alive?

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. According to Marcus in "The Band," how are Harmonica Frank and Robert Johnson relevant to The Band?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In an essay explore the reasons that Greil Marcus would discuss, in the same section, the dark and funny music of Randy Newman, the light music of the Beach Boys, and the stark imagery of Raymond Chandler. What do they have in common? What makes them different? How does Randy Newman fit into the world of the Beach Boys and of Raymond Chandler?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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