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. When Jane and Venters leave Lassiter at the grave and are walking back, they see a rider. Who?

2. When Jane asks Lassiter to stay and eat, why does Lassiter hesitate?

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

4. While Venters is in Surprise Valley, Jane brings a guest into her home. Who?

5. What does Lassiter say when Jane offers him to be a rider for her?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. Venters wonders if Oldring is Mormon. What effect would that have on the story?

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

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. Venter asks Bess, "what were you to Oldring?" How does Bess answer and what does her answer mean? Since Venters stops her before she can explain further, do you think there might be more to her story?

9. 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?

10. Venters goes every day to Deception Pass and practices with his guns. Before the opening incident with Tull, who did he think was after him? Why did he feel the need to practice with his guns?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Do you think Bishop Dyer is an evil man? Why? Why not? Give examples of his behavior that support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Consider Jane's blindness to Mormonism. When does she break the cycle? Give examples when she defies the church.

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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