The Botany of Desire Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Michael Pollan
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. The "broken tulip" was eventually found to be caused by ______ which was discovered with the invention of the electron microscope.
(a) A frost.
(b) A mold.
(c) A bacterium.
(d) A virus.

2. The Greeks believed that true beauty was the offspring of form and ecstasy personified in ______ and Apollo.
(a) Dionysus.
(b) Venus.
(c) Pan.
(d) Zeus.

3. The book states that Johnny Appleseed died in 1845 in _______ Indiana.
(a) Brilliant.
(b) Gary.
(c) Ft. Wayne.
(d) Defiance.

4. Probably as a defense to discourage animals from biting into them, apple seeds contain a small amount of _______.
(a) Curare.
(b) Cyanide.
(c) Strichnine.
(d) Vinegar.

5. Almost all apples grown for eating are cultivars, meaning that they are ______.
(a) Planted into the soil.
(b) Cuttings.
(c) Hydroponically grown.
(d) Special seeds.

Short Answer Questions

1. The book states that beauty in nature is often linked with ______ as evidenced by a bird's plumage.

2. _______ is a social ritual of sanctioned craziness and release. It is a way for the community to temporarily indulge its Dionysian urges.

3. During the lifetime of Johnny Appleseed, Ohio law required a settler to put out ___ apple or pear trees in order to get a land grant.

4. According to the book, the word _____ is a corruption of the Turkish word for Turban.

5. The color of a tulip is always composed of _____ hues one of which is a base color that is always yellow or white.

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Pollan says that he thinks tulips really were flowers which were designed for children?

2. What are some of the effects of the chemicals within plants which begin the argument that plants might be designed to change humans?

3. What happens as a result of the different environments in which a flower might be able to grow?

4. What happens as a result of having perfect symmetry in a flower, according to Pollan's writing in the book?

5. Why did Jews and Christians have troubles admitting to the beauty of flowers within their celebrations?

6. What is the origin of the domesticated apple, although this is certainly a point which is up for contention?

7. What are the four important classes of domesticated plants which influenced the way in which Pollan chose the plants for the book?

8. How does Pollan describe the particular patch of garden versus the plants one finds in nature?

9. Who are some of the groups which roamed the Ohio lands long before Johnny Appleseed was there?

10. What does Pollan have to say about his tendency to speculate and about the connection between flowers and speculation?

(see the answer keys)

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