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. Pollan asserts that Jews and Christians discouraged devotion to flowers because it was a threat to _______.

2. Johnny Appleseed was opposed to using _____ in order to grow trees and preferred planting seeds.

3. The consensus in Holland was that the tulip ______ was the most beautiful flower in the world and a masterpiece.

4. The book suggests that colors and symmetries are elemental principles of ______.

5. Appleseed had originally come west from the state of _____ when he was 23 years old.

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the tulip bulb end up coming into Holland, even though it was not a native plant in the area?

2. What does Pollan say about colors that are seen by children, as opposed to colors seen by adults?

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

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

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

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

7. Why might it be possible to say that the plants are more evolved than humans are at this point in time?

8. Who is John Chapman and what is his importance in the course of the history of the apply?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

While the potato is easy to grow, it became a plant of vital importance as Ireland rebounded from the Potato Famine.

Part 1: Why do you think the potato famine was so devastating to Ireland?

Part 2: Do you think it's wise for any country to rely strictly on one crop for its food supply?

Part 3: How do you think Ireland could have avoided the devastation they encountered during the famine?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Marijuana is seen as the forbidden fruit of society. It is something which is illegal at the present moment, although it is on the verge of legalization.

Part 1: Why do you think society feels that marijuana is the forbidden fruit of society?

Part 2: How do you think society's opinion of marijuana has changed over time?

Part 3: What are your personal opinions of marijuana and its use in modern society?

(see the answer keys)

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