The Botany of Desire Test | Final 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. When Pollan opened up the package to grow the NewLeaf potatoes, the card stated that he was now ________ to grow the potatoes.

2. Farmers who plant Bt crops must leave a certain portion of their land for non-Bt crops to provide a ________ for the bugs.

3. ________, Pollan believes, is brutally reductive, simplifying nature's incomprehensible complexity to something humanly manageable.

4. A _______ is one that is used for getting cuttings. Like the apples, the result of the impact of this may be detrimental to the species.

5. Nature, Pollan admits, seems to be filled with ___________, making the growth process nearly impossible to control.

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Pollan believe the experience of the sublime has to do with the experience of nature?

2. What happens to the animal in the wild who decides to eat hallucinogens and thus takes in the toxins of these plants?

3. What has been the recurrent theme about plants which are forbidden by others? What are they supposed to provide?

4. What were the dangers of the potato, according to Malthus during the time of the rise of the potato?

5. What did Heath have to say about Pollan's question about pest resistance to the chemicals the potatoes are designed to produce?

6. As the various lands in Europe began to rely on the potato, what were the positive benefits of this situation?

7. What is the most important thing to an animal's survival, according to the discussion of plants?

8. What is the status of marijuana use and growing in Amsterdam, according to Pollan in his book?

9. Why were the Irish open to farming the potato in order to provide food for themselves?

10. Describe the NewLeaf potatoes that Pollan took in order to grow at his garden.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Pollan's main idea is that plants have shaped human evolution just as much as humans have shaped plant evolution.

Part 1: In what ways do you think plants have helped to shape human evolution?

Part 2: In what ways do you think humans have helped to shape plant evolution?

Part 3: Do you think humans or plants are responsible for more change for the other species? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Genetic variability is thought to be the key to the apple's future, even though it is not widely discussed in social circles.

Part 1: How might you define the idea of genetic variability?

Part 2: Why do you think genetic variability is important to the survival of the apple?

Part 3: Is genetic variability important to the survival of man? If not, why not?

Essay Topic 3

The legend of Johnny Appleseed is something which the author decides is more nostalgic than something which might be true.

Part 1: What are the value of stories such as the one of Johnny Appleseed?

Part 2: What is the meaning of the Johnny Appleseed story for you in your own life and experiences?

Part 3: Do you think that Johnny Appleseed actually existed? Does it even matter?

(see the answer keys)

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