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

Michael Pollan
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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. Fortius, a professor, could be seen patrolling the streets of the city, ______ any tulip that he encountered.

2. The apple does not breed simply from seed. Thus all trees that produce the same type of apples are _______ of the original tree.

3. The plants that form flowers and encased seeds began to emerge on the earth during the _______ period.

4. Johnny Appleseed was known for introducing the apple to the following states except _____.

5. Since Appleseed raised his trees from seed, most of the fruit was not suitable for _______.

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Pollan find to be mythical about the story of Johnny Appleseed, although it is a true story?

2. What is connection between the plants in the book and their impact on the human society and vice-versa?

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

4. What is the question which arises in Pollan's mind when he thinks about planting and growing the potatoes?

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

6. What happens when a person plants the seed of an apple tree into the ground? Will the resulting tree produce the same apples?

7. What did the Ottoman Turks discover about the wild tulips they found during one of their trips?

8. Why does Chapman not want to have anything to do with the grafting of apple trees in order to breed certain strains?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When the reader sees that marijuana is one of the plants in the book, they can have a variety of reactions.

Part 1: Why do you think Pollan decided to include marijuana in this book?

Part 2: Do you agree that marijuana should be included in a book about how plants change humans as much as humans change plants?

Part 3: How do you think marijuana has affected humans, in your experience?

Essay Topic 2

The book's subjects are presented with objectivity at times, but not at other times.

Part 1: Do you think it's possible for a book to be completely objective?

Part 2: In what ways might Pollan have been able to be more objective in the way he writes this book?

Part 3: How do you think Pollan feels about the plants that he has chosen in this book?

Essay Topic 3

The process of bidding on flowers in order to have them in flower shops for orders seems to be a strange process to those outside of the flower market.

Part 1: Do you think that it's fair for flower sellers to have to bid on the flowers they want in their stores?

Part 2: How do you think flower auctions run? Are they frenetic like the stock market or are they more subdued?

Part 3: Why do you think flowers are so popular in the world among people of all ages and backgrounds?

(see the answer keys)

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