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Early American Literature

22 Questions
Early American Literature

This quiz focuses on the beginnings of American literature, including the origin of American English. It corresponds to collections 1-3 of Elements of Literature: 5th Course.

Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    • A. 

      The Norse by way of Iceland and Greenland

    • B. 

      Ice Age hunters via the Bering land bridge

    • C. 

      English Puritans who traveled across the Atlantic Ocean

  • 2. 
    • A. 

      They were Protestants who sought to purify the Church of England and return to a simpler form of worship.

    • B. 

      They believed that the clergy and government should act as intermediaries between the individual and God.

    • C. 

      Some thought the Church of England was too corrupt to reform and called for a complete separation from it.

    • D. 

      They wanted to establish a new society patterned after God’s word and self-sustaining, profitable colony.

  • 3. 
    The Mayflower Compact paved the way for
    • A. 

      A national church

    • B. 

      A constitutional democracy

    • C. 

      The Salem witch trials

  • 4. 
    Harvard College was founded soon after the first Pilgrims landed
    • A. 

      So that scholars could work on a new translation of the Bible

    • B. 

      So the children of the "elect" could aquire the skills needed to govern

    • C. 

      To train ministers for the rapidly expanding colony

  • 5. 
    Rationalists believed that all people
    • A. 

      Were sinners in the eyes of God with no hope of redemption

    • B. 

      Were either saved or damned, according to God’s will

    • C. 

      Could think in an ordered manner, thereby improving their lives

  • 6. 
    Which of the following statements best describes Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography?
    • A. 

      It expounds the moral, ethical, and religious tenets of the Puritans.

    • B. 

      It describes Franklin’s devout religious practices.

    • C. 

      It provides the model for the classic American rags-to-riches story.

    • D. 

      It shows that the notion of a self-made person is an unrealistic myth.

  • 7. 
    The Pilgrims regard their voyage as
    • A. 

      Only a spiritual journey

    • B. 

      Only a physical journey

    • C. 

      Both a spiritual and physical journey

    • D. 

      Neither a spiritual nor a physical journey

  • 8. 
    The seamen are astonished by the death of the profane seaman and attribute his demise to
    • A. 

      The heavy storms

    • B. 

      The will of God

    • C. 

      His carelessness

  • 9. 
    At the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims are most thankful for
    • A. 

      The treaty they have made with the American Indians

    • B. 

      The departure of the loathsome sailors

    • C. 

      Their great store of grain and corn

  • 10. 
    In her poem, Bradstreet mostly criticizes herself for
    • A. 

      Losing her faith in God’s goodness

    • B. 

      Failing to react quickly in an emergency

    • C. 

      Not taking proper precautions against fire

    • D. 

      Valuing material possessions too much

  • 11. 
    When Bradstreet writes “I blest His name that gave and took…,” she implies that
    • A. 

      She is being punished for the sin of vanity

    • B. 

      Material objects are ultimately God’s and not hers

    • C. 

      She secretly wants all her possessions to vanish

  • 12. 
    Which of the following ideas does Bradstreet find most consoling?
    • A. 

      God has prepared a rich home for her in heaven

    • B. 

      Through the fire, she has atoned for her sins

    • C. 

      She has emerged unharmed from the fire

  • 13. 
    In “Huswifery,” the speaker compares God to a
    • A. 

      Homemaker making skeins of yarn

    • B. 

      Judge weighing evidence

    • C. 

      Person building a spinning wheel

  • 14. 
    Paine argues that the best way to defeat the British is for
    • A. 

      Each state to fight independently as the British approach

    • B. 

      The states to train their militias in guerrilla tactics

    • C. 

      The troops of all the states to join together in the fight

  • 15. 
    Paine suggests that a state that surrenders its arms to the British would have to
    • A. 

      Face destruction by the British troops

    • B. 

      Suffer the hostility of the other states

    • C. 

      Create its own government

  • 16. 
    By comparing the British king to a thief and a housebreaker, Paine suggests that
    • A. 

      British soldiers are using sneak attacks against the colonies.

    • B. 

      The king is in dire need of money for his treasury

    • C. 

      The British are trying to take what is not theirs

  • 17. 
    “The heart that feels not now is dead: The blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when little might have saved the whole…”This quotation illustrates how Paine
    • A. 

      Uses a dramatic rhetorical technique to convey ideas

    • B. 

      Develops a family-based theme throughout the selection

    • C. 

      Presents his thoughts using only plain, ordinary language

  • 18. 
    Some of the differences that developed between the British and American languages were caused by
    • A. 

      The addition of new words to British English

    • B. 

      The increasingly nasal pronunciation of British English

    • C. 

      The physical separation of Britain and America

  • 19. 
    Changes in language usage occurred
    • A. 

      Only in American

    • B. 

      Only in Britain

    • C. 

      In both America and Britain

    • D. 

      In neither America nor Britain

  • 20. 
    The word Americanism identifies a word or expression that
    • A. 

      Was adapted from an American Indian language

    • B. 

      Describes the American lifestyle

    • C. 

      Originated in, or is peculiar to, the United States

  • 21. 
    Because they disliked Americanisms, some British purists
    • A. 

      Believed the English language had reached perfection in the eighteenth century and should not be changed

    • B. 

      Believed a new American literature could supplant British literature as the authority for usage

    • C. 

      Were concerned that these phrases would contribute to political unrest

    • D. 

      Were intimidated by the improvements made to British English

  • 22. 
    Many Americans and British feared that
    • A. 

      Their languages eventually would change so much that the two peoples would be unable to understand each other

    • B. 

      Language differences would cause economic problems in America

    • C. 

      The language differences would eventually revert leading back to a common usage