Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music Test | Final 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 motto of Hank Williams' made him similar to Robert Johnson according to Marcus?

2. What did Seale attempt to use as a political threat?

3. In the introduction to "Elvis," Marcus claims that Elvis epitomizes what?

4. What Randy Newman song does Marcus claim suggests that the we are being laughed at and life is a joke?

5. What car did Elvis both buy and sing about?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Marcus mean when he wrote: "Instead of breaking the bartender's glass Stack found himself aiming at the mirror behind the bar, and thus discovered that the target was himself" (78)?

2. Why did Marcus entitle a section "Mystery Train" in "Elvis"? Why is this also the title of the book?

3. According to Marcus in "Elvis," what racial issues exist with Elvis' music?

4. In "Elvis," what is Elvis' "Rockabilly Moment" (141)?

5. According to Marcus in "Randy Newman," what is important about the Beach Boys? (101)

6. According to Marcus in "Sly Stone," how did Newton and Cleaver use the myth of Staggerlee?

7. What type of risk does Randy Newman make in his music? What risk does he avoid?

8. In "Elvis," Marcus compares Elvis Presley to Abraham Lincoln, why?

9. How does Marcus define pop culture optimism and pessimism in "Sly Stone"?

10. Compare and contrast Sly and Staggerlee as presented in "Sly Stone: The Myth of Staggerlee in the sections: Introduction and "Sly Stone." How are they similar? How are they different?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Both Harmonica Frank and Robert Johnson have some claim as the originator of rock 'n' roll. In an essay, compare and contrast the two men including their styles, their audiences, and their legacies. At the end of your essay, identify if Harmonica Frank, Robert Johnson, or both are the true originator of rock 'n' roll. Use details from Mystery Train to support your conclusions.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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