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

2. In the book, Johnny Appleseed was called a benign _________ of the American Fronteir.

3. The opposite condition to the collective flower frenzy in which a person's depression keeps them from enjoying flowers is ______.

4. In an attempt to look like decaying meat, a ______ plant has red and white striated coloring and a rancid smell.

5. The Native Americans that knew Chapman considered him to be a brilliant woodsman and ______.

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

7. What is the main reason why the apple is presented in a book about the idea of desire? How does the apple relate to desire?

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

9. What are some of the ways in which flowers have been created to attract the attention of humans, according to Pollan?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The idea of beauty is one which is not easy to define, although Pollan notes that this is why tulips were so popular for a time.

Part 1: How do you define the idea of beauty? What does this mean to you?

Part 2: How do you define the idea of beauty in relation to the flowers of the world?

Part 3: Why do you think that the tulip was favored over so many other flowers in the world?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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