American Literature 2130 Final Exam

Which of the following best describes women roles in the marketplace during the antebellum period?
Women were very active in the antebellum literary marketplace, particularly through publication in newspaper and magazines

Which of the following problems have recent critics frequently raised about the construction of the so-called American Renaissance?
Studies of the American Renaissance have tended to exclude the significant contributions of women and minority writers.

Frederick Douglass displayed a powerful capacity to stir both readers of his printed work and audiences in lecture halls in the service of what reformist cause?
a movement to abolish the enslavement of African Americans

Which of the following best describes the effects of the lack of recognition of international copyright law in the United States during the 1820s?
Since foreign writers did not receive international copyright protection in the United States, American publishers routinely pirated English writers, paying nothing to the writers when they reprinted works originally published in London.

American writers thus found publishers reluctant to pay them for their work when so much material was available to the publishers for free.

Which of the following writers is usually credited with beginning the Transcendentalist movement?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The man dressed in antique Dutch clothing is bearing something on his back, and asks for Rip’s help toting it through the mountains. What does he carry?
a cask of liquor

Once Rip tells the town what happened, they consult old Peter Vanderdonk, who confirms that the Kaatskills are haunted. Whom does Peter name as the Dutch explorer who periodically appears in the mountains?
hendrick Hudson

While avoiding the terrors of Dame Van Winkle one day in the Kaatskills, Rip hears a sound that begins his odd adventure.

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That sound is described most aptly as:

someone crying his name

What does the narrator of “Rip Van Winkle” describe as “the great error in Rip’s composition”?
his unwillingness to work

What is young goodman Brown’s companion carrying?
a staff shaped like a snake

Who or what is described as “the chief horror of the scene?”
young goodman Brown

Who does young goodman Brown see beside him before the altar?

What ritual does the devil attempt to perform in the woods, with Goodman Brown as the object?
A Baptism

What does Usher tell the narrator is wrong with his sister Madeline?
She suffers from occasional paralysis.

What evidence does Usher provide that the stones of his House are alive with an evil consciousness?
He could feel them watching him.

For a time the narrator comforts Roderick by reading and painting with him? One of Usher’s paintings is described as follows: “A small picture presented the interior of an immensely long and rectangular vault or tunnel, with low walls, smooth, white, and without interruption or device. Certain accessory points of the design served well to convey the idea that this excavation lay at an exceeding depth below the surface of the earth.” What later event in the story does this picture foreshadow?
The narrator and Roderick bury Madeline alive in a stone tomb beneath the mansion.

Whom does Roderick suspect is on the other side of the chamber door as the narrator comes to the climax of Ethelred’s story?

What is Douglass’s opinion about slave singing?
It’s done out of sorrow, not joy.

To what two free states does Douglass finally escape?
New York and Massachusetts

Which of the following poets was Dickinson’s close friend and mentor in Amherst?
Walt Whitman

In Dickinson’s poem “[Because I could not stop for Death]”, what literary device does she use to speak about the true nature of death?

Which of the following is NOT a common theme among Dickinson’s poetry?

Louisa May Alcott’s short story appeared under a couple of different titles. Our text book used “My Contraband.” In the context, what does the word ‘contraband’ mean?
A slave who escaped to the Union side and granted freedom by Union forces

Robert Dane, in Alcott’s story, was the name given to the quadroon by:
the nurse he helped and narrator of the story.

For which work is Louisa May Alcott most known?
Little Women

The novels and short stories of Henry James and Edith Wharton tended to focus on
the inner psychological lives of privileged upper-class characters.

What did the organization of eastern philanthropists calling itself “Friends of the Indian” espouse, beginning in the 1880s?
assimilating Native Americans into the white mainstream through schooling, town planning, training in agriculture, and Christian conversion

Which of the following best describes the conditions most urban factory workers faced at the end of the nineteenth century?
low wages, dangerous working conditions, and few laws regulating safety or working hours

Realism as a literary movement took many different forms, but these forms generally had some basic commonalities. Which of the following best describes the literary principles of the work of many realist authors?
a preoccupation with making the observable surfaces of the world described in fiction seem lifelike and an interest in portraying the complexity of the interior moral and psychological lives of characters

What qualities distinguish practitioners of “naturalism” from practitioners of “realism” as a general movement?
their focus on the way their characters’ lives are determined by forces beyond their own control

What is the setting of Mark Twain’s “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County?”
Angel’s mining camp

Who is the narrator in Mark Twain’s story?
He is unnamed.

What is the resolution of “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County?”
The tale teller gets called outside the tavern, so the narrator takes it as his opportunity to leave.

Mark Twain is a pen name for:
Samuel Clemens

Which of the following best summarizes Mrs. Mallard’s views on marriage as an institution?
It too easily becomes a means for men and women to control one another.

Which goddess does Mrs. Mallard unwittingly resemble as she descends the staircase with Josephine?
Nike, goddess of victory

According to Josephine’s account, how did Mr. Mallard die?
He was in a train wreck.

Why does Mrs. Mallard’s sister, Josephine, shield the truth of Mr. Mallard’s death from her?
She assumes the shock will kill her invalid sister.

Which of the following best characterizes Mrs. Mallard’s relationship with her husband?
It is generally loving and reciprocal.

Which two of the four men do most of the rowing?
the oiler and the correspondent

How do the four men find themselves in a lifeboat in the first place?
They rowed one of many lifeboats away from a sinking steamboat.

Which of the four men does not survive the swim to shore?
The oiler

After the others have dropped off to sleep, the correspondent sees “a long, loud swishing astern of the boat, and a gleaming trail of phosphorescence, like blue flame, was furrowed on the black waters. It might have been made by a monstrous knife.” What had the correspondent seen?
the fin of a shark

While the correspondent rows long into the night, he remembers a few lines of verse he had forgotten he had forgotten. What were the lines about?
a soldier of the Legion who lay dying in Algier

Which of the following best describes the dog’s way of knowing and responding to its surroundings?
The dog responds instinctively to its surroundings.

Which of the following best describes the dog’s responses to the man?
subdued and servile

Which of the following best describes the man’s way of knowing and responding to his surroundings?
He rationally calculates his position in the natural world, relying on man-made measurements.

The landscape and setting is described as
cold and dark

The man thinks repeatedly about some advice he once received from “the old-timer on Sulpher” creek. What advice did the old-timer proffer?
Never travel alone in weather below fifty degrees.

What does the man lack?

In 1920, what development changed social and political life for women?
They gained the right to vote.

In the interwar period, many Americans were influenced by Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s theories about the human psyche. Which of the following describes one of Freud’s most important theories?
The self is grounded in an “unconscious,” where forbidden desires, traumas, and unacceptable emotions are stored.

What is “double consciousness”?
W. E. B. Du Bois’s term for African Americans’ sense of “doubleness” when identifying themselves as simultaneously black and American—identities that were sometimes in conflict with one another

The term “Great Migration” refers to
the large number of African Americans who moved out of the South and into northern industrial centers beginning in 1915

Which of the following contributed to production of mass popular culture in the interwar period?
The Radio

Which of the following could be described as the key formal characteristic of high modernist works?

Most high modernists conceived of their aesthetic movement as
international in nature, bringing together American and European culture

Most “high modernist” literature interprets modernity as
an experience of loss, alienation, and ruin

Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons is writing is which structure?

Stein’s work was considered radical even for its time in an innovative America. What movement has caused her work to become more popular over the decades since her death?
Women’s Movement

Stein’s Tender Buttons features three sections of unorthodox poetry. What is the title of the section about everyday items described in a unfamiliar manner?

“The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” is about:
An Arranged Marriage

In his poem, Ezra Pound provides a spatial setting of
Southeast Asia

When he’s not burning barns, what kind of fires does William Faulkner’s protagonist Abner build?
Small, neat fires

In “Barn Burning,” why is Sarty bleeding when the Snopes family gets in the wagon headed for Major de Spain’s farm?
He got in a fight with another boy, who called Abner a barn burner.

Which of the Snopes family gets called to testify before the Justice of the Peace in the story’s opening pages?

Why are the de Spains unhappy with the job Abner performs washing their rug?
Abner used lye to clean the rug.

What are the unspecified birds that fly about near the tent in Hemingway’s “Snows of Kilimanjaro?”

What do the italicized inset passages represent?
true experiences that he had planned to write about, but now never will

Why are Harry and the woman arguing?
He is afraid to die.

What does Harry think the woman feels for him?
She treats him unconsciously as one of her many possessions.

“The Weary Blues” was written by:
Langston Hughes

“The Weary Blues” emphasizes which of the following as a descriptive device
Sensory Imagery

For of the following novels did John Steinbeck win a Pulitzer Prize?
The Grapes of Wrath

Which of the following is NOT a theme in Steinbeck’s story “The Leader of the People?”

What was the “G.I. Bill”?
a program that provided returning World War II veterans with a college education

Which of the following best describes the literary theory known as “deconstruction”?
a theory first developed by French linguists and philosophers that questioned assumptions about the stability of language and the extent to which “facts” might be constructed by intellectual operations

Which of the following best characterizes “Minimalism” as a movement in literary prose?
a form of realism committed to crafting a manner of description that with great intensity limited itself to what could be most reliably accepted, usually focused around signs that characters accepted as truth

Novels and short stories of the immediate postwar period often strove to:
serve as representations of a common national essence or an entire national experience

Which of the following best describes “creative nonfiction”?
a genre that combines aspects of the essay, memoir, reportage, criticism, and autobiography, and that uses the techniques of fiction to make a claim to the real

Which of the following best describes the “cold war” as a phenomenon in American history?
a strategy directed at containing the political and ideological influence of Communism around the globe through the amassing of military strength for deterrence rather than combat

he 1950s, in general, were characterized by:
a stable conformity within American life and a dedication to an increasingly materialistic standard of living

What event prompted many of the protests on college campuses in the Sixties that eventually led to a much larger cultural revolution?
U.S. military involvement in Vietnam

Which poem is credited with administering a transformative shock to the state of American poetry when it was read aloud in San Francisco in 1955 and published in 1956?
Allen Ginsberg’s Howl

Which countries emerged from World War II with strong economies?
The United States

Contemporary literature from the Sixties to the present, in general, is characterized by:
its commitment to downplaying differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and region and instead celebrating—and representing—a coherent, shared national essence

What is the setting of Eudora Welty’s “The Petrified Man”?
A beauty parlor

Who is the protagonist in Welty’s short story?

Who discovered that the petrified man was a murderer?
Mrs. Pike

What is the subject of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “The Fish?”
Catching a fish then releasing it

Which of the following literary elements was most used in “The Fish?”

Which of the following best describes the tone of James Baldwin’s “Going to Meet the Man?”

Which of the following CANNOT considered a theme in Baldwin’s story?

Which of the following statements best describes Adrienne Rich’s style?
Rich’s writing style confronts the political inequality of women with eloquent verbosity and meaningful intent.

“Diving into the Wreck” is largely symbolic. What symbol does the ladder stand for in the second stanza of Adrienne Rich’s poem? There is a ladder. The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is for, we who have used it. Otherwise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment.
Gateway to another world

In Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif,” what distinguishes Twyla and Roberta from the other children?
They are the only children whose parents are still alive.

In “Recitatif,” what do we know of the racial identities of Twyla and Roberta?
They are not the same race.

What Pulitzer Prize wining novel is Alice Walker accredited for writing?
The Color Purple

In Walker’s short story “Everyday Use,” what items does the oldest sister Dee want to take from Maggie?
Heirloom Quilts

In “Everyday Use,” whose side does the protagonist (mother) take?

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American Literature 2130 Final Exam
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