American Literature I

121 Questions | Total Attempts: 402

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American Literature Quizzes & Trivia

The first sample exam for practice in American Literature.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    "His lynx eye immediately perceives the paper, recognizes the handwriting of the address, observes the confusion of the personage addressed, and fathoms her secret.  After some business transaction, hurried through in his ordinary manner, he produces a letter somewhat similar to the one in question, opens it, pretends to read it, and then places it in close juxtaposition to the other.  Again he converses, for some fifteen minutes, upon the public affairs.  At length, in taking leave, he takes also from the table the letter to which he had no claim." Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 2. 
    He now became entangled in a succession of crooked and narrow streets, which crossed each other, and meandered at no great distance from the water-side. The smell of tar was obvious to his nostrils, the masts of vessels pierced the moonlight above the tops of the buildings, and the numerous signs, which [he] paused to read, informed him that he was near the centre of business. But the streets were empty, the shops were closed, and lights were visible only in the second stories of a few dwelling houses. Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 3. 
    The Sketch Book is an example of the personal travel book, a genre that became popular in American literature.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 4. 
    Well, then; I have received personal information, from a very high quarter, that a certain document of the last importance, has been purloined from the royal apartments. The individual who purloined it is known; this beyond a doubt; he was seen to take it. It is known, also, that it still remains in his possession. What is the meaning of the verb to purloin?
    • A. 

      To borrow

    • B. 

      To steal

    • C. 

      To ruin

    • D. 

      To return

  • 5. 
    In truth, all through the haunted forest, there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of ... On he flew, among the black pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter, as set all the echoes of the forest echoing like demons around him. Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 6. 
    I would not have it imagined, however, that he was one of those cruel potentates of the school, who joy in the smart of their subjects; on the contrary, he administered justice with discrimination rather than severity; taking the burthen off the backs of the weak, and laying it on those of the strong. What is the meaning of the word "smart" in this context?
    • A. 

      Stupidity

    • B. 

      Silliness

    • C. 

      Pain

    • D. 

      Intelligence

  • 7. 
    But when to their feminine rage the indignation of the people is added, when the ignorant and the poor are aroused, when the unintelligent brute force that lies at the bottom of society is made to growl and mow, it needs the habit of magnanimity and religion to treat it godlike as a trifle of no concernment. What does “mow” mean in this context?
    • A. 

      To grimace

    • B. 

      To bleat like sheep

    • C. 

      To lift heavy things

    • D. 

      To cut grass

  • 8. 
    Apess concludes his piece by:
    • A. 

      Predicting the Apocalypse

    • B. 

      Declaring his intention to run for public office

    • C. 

      Calling for Native Americans to declare themselves independent of the U.S. government

    • D. 

      Exhorting his allies and advocates to continue working to end prejudice

  • 9. 
    "We also measured the thickness of every book-cover, with the most accurate admeasurement, and applied to each the most jealous scrutiny of the microscope. Had any of the bindings been recently meddled with, it would have been utterly impossible that the fact should have escaped observation. Some five or six volumes, just from the hands of the binder, we carefully probed, longitudinally, with the needles." Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 10. 
    Virtues are in the popular estimate rather the exception than the rule. There is the man and his virtues. Men do what is called a good action, as some piece of courage or charity, much as they would pay a fine in expiation of daily non-appearance on parade. Write the name of the author, correctly spelled.
  • 11. 
    The annals of Massachusetts Bay will inform us, that of six governors, in the space of about forty years from the surrender of the old charter, under James II., two were imprisoned by a popular insurrection - a third, as Hutchinson inclines to believe, was driven from the province by the whizzing of a musket ball - a fourth, in the opinion of the same historian, was hastened to his grave by continual bickerings with the house of representatives - and the remaining two, as well as their successors, till the Revolution, were favored with few and brief intervals of peaceful sway. What is an "insurrection"?
    • A. 

      An act or instance of beginning

    • B. 

      An of revolting against civil authority

    • C. 

      The state of one risen from the dead

    • D. 

      The condition of being stopped

  • 12. 
    The cloud-spirits peeped from their silvery islands, as the congregated mirth went roaring up the sky! The Man in the Moon heard the far bellow. “Oho,” quoth he, “the old earth is frolicsome to-night!” This is:
    • A. 

      An autobiography

    • B. 

      A fairy tale

    • C. 

      Gothic fiction

    • D. 

      A novel

    • E. 

      A detective story

  • 13. 
    But for many minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. This victim is killed because of:
    • A. 

      A letter

    • B. 

      His clouded eye

    • C. 

      His pact with the devil

    • D. 

      His loud heart beat

    • E. 

      His money

  • 14. 
    Let me for a few moments turn your attention to the reservations in the different states of New England, and, with but few exceptions, we shall find them as follows: the most mean, abject, miserable race of beings in the world - a complete place of prodigality and prostitution. What does "prodigality" mean?
    • A. 

      Wasteful extravagance

    • B. 

      Promiscuity

    • C. 

      Return from the dead

    • D. 

      Redemption

  • 15. 
    He now suspected that the great roysters of the mountain had put a trick upon him, and having dosed him with liquor, had robbed him of his gun. Wolf, too, had disappeared, but he might have strayed away after a squirrel or partridge. The word "roysters" means "roosters."
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 16. 
    “Bryant, in his very learned ‘Mythology,’ mentions an analogous source of error, when he says that ‘although the Pagan fables are not believed, yet we forget ourselves continually, and make inferences from them as existing realities.’ With the algebraist, however, who are Pagans themselves, the ‘Pagan fables’ are believed, and the inferences are made, not so much through lapse of memory, as through an unaccountable addling of the brains.” Write the author's name in full, correctly spelled:
  • 17. 
    They measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is. But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property, out of new respect for his nature. Especially he hates what he has, if he see that it is accidental, – came to him by inheritance, or gift, or crime; then he feels that it is not having; it does not belong to him, has no root in him, and merely lies there, because no revolution or no robber takes it away. Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 18. 
    I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been, ever since, growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 19. 
    • A. 

      Unity of effect

    • B. 

      Ratiocinactive effect

    • C. 

      Cataleptic effect

    • D. 

      Didactic effect

    • E. 

      Delusion of effect

  • 20. 
    The cautious old gentleman knit his brows tenfold closer after this explanation, being sorely puzzled by the ratiocination of the syllogism; while methought the one in pepper and salt eyed him with something of a triumphant leer. At length he observed, that all this was very well, but still he thought the story a little extravagant – there were one or two points on which he had his doubts. “Faith, sir,” replied the story-teller, “as to that matter, I don’t believe one half of it myself.” Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 21. 
    What ritual does the character resembling the devil attempt to perform in the woods, with goodman Brown as the object?
    • A. 

      A conversion

    • B. 

      A christening

    • C. 

      A wedding

    • D. 

      A baptism

  • 22. 
    All stood amazed, until an old woman, tottering out from among the crowd, put her hand to her brow, and peering under it in his face for a moment, exclaimed, "Sure enough! it is [he]—it is himself. Welcome home again, old neighbor. Why, where have you been these twenty years?” Write the title of this work, correctly spelled:
  • 23. 
    The now ghastly pallor of the skin, and the now miraculous luster of the eye, above all things startled and even awed me. The silken hair, too, had been suffered to grow all unheeded, and as, in its wild gossamer texture, it floated rather than fell about the face, I could not, even with effort, connect its arabesque expression with any idea of simple humanity. The character described in this passage:
    • A. 

      Commits suicide

    • B. 

      Devours a heart

    • C. 

      Meets the devil

    • D. 

      Kills an old man

    • E. 

      Buries someone alive

  • 24. 
    Let me refer you to the churches only.  And, my brethren, is there any agreement? Do brethren and sisters love one another? Do they not rather hate one another?  Outward forms and ceremonies, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and pride of life is of more value to many professors than the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, or an attachment to his altar, to his ordinances, or to his children.  But you may ask: Who are the children of God? Write the author's full name, correctly spelled:
  • 25. 
    In fact, he declared it was no use to work on his farm; it was the most pestilent little piece of ground in the whole country; every thing about it went wrong, and would go wrong, in spite of him. Write the title of this work, correctly spelled: