Riders of the Purple Sage 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. As the situation worsens, Jane tells Jerd to only care for only two things. What?

2. Which horse does Jane give to Venters to go find the red herd?

3. When Jane tells Blake to go to the sage and get all her horses, what information does Blake have?

4. What is the opening to Oldring's den?

5. How does Venters block the entrance to Surprise Valley?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Jane keep Milly's grave overgrown and hidden?

2. Describe Jane's relationship with Bishop Dyer. How does Jane view Bishop Dyer's connection to God? How was he helpful to her father? Why is Jane torn between the man Dyer and the bishop Dyer?

3. Who is the "unseen hand" and what role is he playing in what is happening to Jane and her ranch? Why is the "unseen hand" at work?

4. In Utah the Mormons are usually prosperous, while the Gentiles barely make enough to eat. Do you think Jane's father made his money in a way that hurt or used Gentiles in the area?

5. Compare the entrance to Surprise Valley under the stone bridge and the entrance to the ancient cave dwellers up the steep steps. How are these the same and how are they different? What did they mean to the ancient peoples and how are they important to Venters and Bess?

6. While exploring for the first time, Venters finds evidence of beavers in Surprise Valley and realizes that he must find the the stream where they entered. Why does Venters need to see the where the stream enters Surprise Valley? What is he afraid of?

7. The first appearance of Judkins, the Gentile rider "means hell." Why do you think this is true?

8. Jane wonders aloud if Lassiter was Milly's husband. Why would this be important? Would this mean that Lassiter was a Mormon?

9. How did Jane's father make his wealth? What did he own that others needed? How has Jane changed that legacy and what effect has the change had on the people of Cottonwoods?

10. Jane is torn between her love for the Mormon church and the reality of the actions of it's leaders. How is this internal conflict reflected in Jane's actions?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Is the character of Oldring good or bad? Describe the stories about Oldring that are bad. Describe the stories about Oldring that are good. In the end, how do you feel about this character? Can you imagine this story without him? Why? Why not?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the role of women, men, and elders in the Mormon church. Look at their viewpoints and opinions. Use scenes from the novel to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

What is the foreshadowing event of Lassiter rolling Balancing Rock down the hill? There is more than one event to describe, but chose one and be specific.

(see the answer keys)

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