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. According to the book, some of the most bitter and "bad" plants are the ones that contain the most powerful _______.

2. The ___________ can serve as a sort of DNA fingerprint if a person wants to determine if a plant is a Monsanto plant.

3. Dependence on the potato had made the ________ vulnerable to the perils of the economy as well as to those of nature.

4. The book states that the effect of making pot illegal was that the counterculture engaged in _______the plant.

5. The book states that although marijuana cultivation is driven to some extent by money, the underlying principle is that of ______.

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are cats so drawn to catnip, according to the research that Pollan does after seeing how his cat response to using this herb?

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 is the rationale that Pollan gives for growing pot as he decides to do when it is not as much of a legal issue?

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

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

6. Describe the experience Pollan had when the police almost found his large marijuana plants in his backyard?

7. What does Pollan begin to realize after the powerful storm that ruined a part of the famous gardens of Versailles?

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

9. What are some of the possible genetically modified food advances people might see in the future, according to Pollan?

10. Compare and contrast the tastes of plants which are supposed to be eaten with those which are not supposed to be eaten.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

This book, "The Botany of Desire," is generally listed as a Nature and Gardening book, though this does not seem to be its only application.

Part 1: Why do you think this book is labeled as being a Nature and Gardening book?

Part 2: Do you agree with the idea that this should be labeled as a Nature and Gardening book? What other labels might apply?

Part 3: How do you think the book's message is perceived by those who are merely reading for the Nature and Gardening aspect?

(see the answer keys)

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