Riders of the Purple Sage 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. After Bess is well, what do she and Venters do everyday in Surprise Valley?

2. Venters and Bess take cover from the storm in their cave and Bess, afraid, snuggles with Venters. What does he know in this moment?

3. What does Venters remember about Bess as they are racing away?

4. Why does Lassiter not want to push Balancing Rock?

5. When Venters comes from Surprise Valley, where do he and Lassiter go together?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Jane packing a special package for Venters? What is this a symbol of? What do you think it means.?

2. After Lassiter leaves Surprise Valley, what is Venters worried about? Why is he worried? What actions will he take at this point?

3. Venters gives a tribute to Jane when he faces Tull. How does Jane react to this? Describe the range of her emotions.

4. The title of the book is used for the first time in Chapter 22 as Bess looks at the band of riders and calls them sage riders. What does this mean? How is this different that rustlers?

5. When running from Tull and his riders, Venters is amazed at Bess. Why? What does he remember as he rides. What are some of her exploits?

6. Even though Jane knows that the house has been fired, she doesn't look back. Why? Is this part of her "giving up?"

7. When Lassiter returns from Surprise Valley, what do he and Jane discover about her horses? Why is this important? What does this mean to Jane and Lassiter?

8. Judkins comes to tell Jane the white herd is missing. What happened to them? Who was lost? How does this compare to Lassiter's work earlier in the novel with the white herd?

9. Why is Bess afraid to tell Venters about the gold? What does she think he will do? Why?

10. What is the symbolism of Jane giving her horses to Venters and Bess? How does this show forgiveness?

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

During the race between Venters and Jerry Card, several pieces of chivalry and honor are used as a guideline to a code of conduct of which both men are aware. When this story was first published, do you think more people understood the rules of engagement for an event such as this? Do we understand it today? How are these rules different and the same as today?

Essay Topic 3

Compare Venters's judgment of Bess to his judgment of Lassiter. Both Lassiter and Bess were knows for their evil past, but how does Venters view each person? What does this say about the character of Venters?

(see the answer keys)

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