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

2. What happened in this area of Southern Utah in 1871?

3. What is Withersteen House?

4. How does Venters find the opening to Surprise Valley?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. When Bess learns of Venters stealing the calves from Oldring, what is she afraid of? Who is she afraid for? What does she think will happen if Venters continues to act so carelessly?

2. Who was Milly Erne and why did she refuse to teach at the school? What impact did this have on Milly's life?

3. When Jane visits the Brandts in town, the women warn her about her behavior. What are the Mormon's women's concerns with Jane? How do they think she will be punished? How will she be rewarded if she marries Tull? Would her marriage to Tull be the right thing for her religiously?

4. 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?

5. Bess tells Venters that she has memories of women and children. Who do you think these people were? What do you think their relationship was with Bess?

6. Once Venters reaches Surprise Valley he skins the rabbit and saves the hide? Why would he want to keep this hide? What feeling is Venters trying to capture and hang on to?

7. Would you describe Tull's handiwork as a conspiracy? What makes it a conspiracy? Give examples.

8. Who is Jane's one lone defender when Tull begins to pressure Jane into marriage? How can one person help Jane? Is defending Jane a job that requires more people?

9. Describe Tull's campaign to pressure Jane into marriage. How does he manipulate other Mormon and non-Mormons to help him with his campaign.

10. What is Jane's main goal with Lassiter? What is she trying to get him to do? How is she using Fay to get what she wants from Lassiter? How is she using Lassiter's attraction to her to get what she wants?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the symbolism of gold in this story? What three times is it used in the story? What characters are involved? Describe the scenes and then explain the symbolism of gold.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the small breaking points in the story for Jane and her Mormon religion. What was the final blow?

Essay Topic 3

What is the symbolism of the sage? How does the sage define the lives of the characters? Start when Venters chooses to go sleep in the sage instead of sleeping indoors. Does the sage mean freedom? Peace? What?

(see the answer keys)

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