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. Before flowers, sexual reproduction consisted of _____ being dispersed by the wind to be caught by other plants.

2. Chinese poets likened the blossoms of the peony to a ______.

3. Appleseed used most of his crops in order to make ______, which led him to be thought of as an 'American Dionysus.'

4. When a buyer of tulips finished the sale, they were required to pay "wijnkoopsgeld" or ______ money.

5. Pollan refers to the _____ as the gothic femme fatale in the masculine world of tulips.

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the colors and the shapes of flowers designed to do, according to some scientists?

2. Why did Pollan plant tulip bulbs when he was a child, according to his own reflections?

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

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

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

6. What was the way in which the tulip was able to get ahead when it was a part of the Ottoman Empire?

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

8. What is the aim of Pollan's book in terms of how it talks about the relationship between Man and Nature?

9. What is the classic example of coevolution that Pollan presents at the start of the book?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Americans seem to have a clear idea as to what a 'normal' potato might look like.

Part 1: Why do you think Americans have been brought up to think of the potato in that one way?

Part 2: How do you feel about the potato? What do you think a potato should look and taste like?

Part 3: Do you feel the potato is an essential part of your diet? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The idea of tulipomania is one which seems to be silly and yet completely true at the same time.

Part 1: Why do you think so many people gravitated to the tulip?

Part 2: What are your impressions of the tulip? Do you find it beautiful?

Part 3: How do you think a flower can become a part of a craze in the world? Does this seem like a necessary situation?

Essay Topic 3

The story includes the idea that Johnny Appleseed spread the seeds of apples all over America, although no proof is given.

Part 1: Does it seem plausible that one man could have spread all of the apple seeds in the country?

Part 2: What do you think Johnny's motivations for spreading the seed might have been?

Part 3: Why is this story so nostalgic to those who live in America?

(see the answer keys)

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