Exercises for History of American Literature

Part One

.Blank Filling.

 1.         The term “Puritan” was applied to those settlers who originally were devout members of the Church of __________________________.

2.         The first permanent English settlement in North American was established at __________, Virginia.

3.         __________________ was a famous explorer and colonist. He established Jamestown.

4.         General History of Virginia contains Smith’s most famous tale of how the Indian princess named_______________________.

5.         Hard work, thrift, piety and sobriety, these were the ______________________ values that dominated much of the early American writing.

6.         In 1620, _______________ was elected Governor of Plymouth, Massachussetts.

7.         From 1620 until his death, ___________________ probably possessed more power than any other colonial governor.

8.         Bradford’s work consists of two books. The first book deals with the persecutions of the Separatists in Scrooby, England, the second book describes the signing of the “__________ Compact”.

9.         The History of New England is a priceless gift left us by _______________________.

10.     The writer who best expressed the Puritan faith in the colonial period was ___________.

11.     Many Puritans wrote verse, but the work of two writers, Anne Bradstreet and Edward _________________, rose to the level real poetry.

12.     A representative sermon A True Sight of Sin is ________________’s main work.

13.     Jonathan Edward’s masterpiece is ______________________.

14.     _______________’s best verse is to be found in a series called “Preparatory Meditations”.

 . Decide Whether the Statements Are True or False.

 1.         Early in the seventeenth century, the English settlements in Virginia and Massachussetts began the main stream of what we recognize as the American national history.

2.         The colonies that became the first United States were for the most part English.

3.         In 1620 a number of Puritans came to settle in Virginia.

4.         John Winthrop’s reports of exploration, published in the early 1600s, have been regarded as the first distinct American literature written in English.

5.         John Smith portrayed North America as a land of endless bounty.

6.         Captain John Smith usually was regarded as the first American writer.

7.         Smith published eight books in all , A Description of New England is one of them.

8.         The seventeenth century American poets adapted the style of established European poets to the subject matter confronted in a strangely-new environment.

9.         Mayflower in American history is the name of a flower.

10.     Cotton Mather was an inexhaustible writer, producing more than five hundred books on an incredible variety of subjects.

11.     Most of the religious writing in the colonies was done by persons who lived in New England.

12.     John Cotton was regarded as the most eminent and admired minister in the first generation of New England Puritans.

13.     One of Roger William’s works was A Key into the Language of America.

14.     The best of Puritan poets was Edward Taylor, whose complete edition of poems appeared in 1960, more than two hundred years after his death.

15.     Before 1750 the American newspapers were cultural and literary in nature, but after 1750, they became more political.

 . Multiple Choice.

 1.         English literature in the America is only about more than _______ years old

A. 500       B. 400       C. 200        D. 100

2.         The establisher of Jamestown was the famous explorer and colonist_______.

A. John Winthrop          B. John Smith

C. William Bradford        D. John Goodwin

3.         The Puritan dominating values were:

A. hard work        B. thrift        C. piety         D. sobriety

4.         The early history of ______ Colony was the history of Bradford’s leadership.

A. Plymouth              B. Jamestown

C. New England           D. Mayflower

5.         Choose those names which were named after English monarch or land.

A. Georgia                B. New York

C. Carolina               D.  New Hampshire

6.          _______ usually was regarded as the first American writer.

A. William Bradford        B. Anne Bradstreet

C. Emily Dickinson         D. Captain John Smith

7.         Jonathan Edwards’ best and most representative sermon was ________.

A. A True Sight of Sin

B. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

C. A Model of Christian Charity

D. God’s Determinations

8.         Which writer is not a poet?

A. Michael Wigglesworth          B. Anne Bradstreet

C. Edward Taylor                D. Thomas Hooker

9.         The common thread throughout American literature has been the emphasis on the ________.

A. Revolution          B. Reason

C. Individualism        D. Rationalism

10.     Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan poet. Her poems made such a stir in England that she became known as the “_________” who appeared in America.

A. Ninth Muse             B. Tenth Muse

C. Best Muse              D. First Muse

11.     The ship “__________” carried about one hundred Pilgrims and took 66days to beat its way across the Atlantic. In December of 1620, it put the Pilgrims ashore at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

A. Sunflower               B. Armada

C. Mayflower               D. Pequod

. Identification of Fragment.

I heard the merry grasshopper then sing,

The black-clad cricket bear a second part;

They kept one tune and played on the same string

Seeming to glory in their little art.

Small creatures abject thus their voices raise,

And in their kind resound their Maker’s praise,

Whilst I, as mute, can warble forth no higher lays?

1.       This is the ninth of the Contemplations written by an early American woman writer. What is her name?

2.       Make a brief comment on this short poem.

Part Two

I.         Blank Filling.

1.       The War of Independence lasted eight years till _________.

2.       Franklin also edited the first colonial magazine, which he called __________.

3.       Thomas Paine, with his natural gift for pamphleteering and rebellion, was appropriately born into an age of _______.

4.       Paine’s second most important work _______ was an impassioned plea against hereditary monarchy.

5.       On January 10, 1776, Paine’s famous pamphlet _________ appeared.

6.       The most outstanding poet in America of the 18th century was __________.

7.       ____________ was considered as the “poet of the American Revolution”.

8.       _________ has been called the “Father of American Poetry.”

9.       In 1791, probably with Jefferson’s support, _________ established in Philadelphia the National Gazette.

10.   In American literature, the eighteenth century was an Age of _______ and Revolution. 

II.      Decide Whether the Statements Are True or False.

1.       The War if Independence lasted for eight years and ended in the formation of a Federative bourgeois democratic republic, that is , the United States of America.

2.       At the initial period the spread of ideas of the American Enlightenment was largely due to journalism.

3.       Franklin was a prose stylist whose writing reflected the neoclassic ideals of clarity, restraint, simplicity, and balance.

4.       In Philadelphia, Franklin edited the Pennsylvania Magazine, and contributed to the Pennsylvania Journal.

5.       For the pamphlet Common Sense, Paine was charged with treason and fled to France, where he was made a citizen.

6.       Philip Freneau was a most important writer in American poetry of the eighteenth century.

7.       Freneau was a close friend and political associate of President Thomas Jefferson.

8.       Freneau wrote impassioned verse in support of the American Revolution.

9.       Most American literature in the eighteenth century was political.

10.   During the 1770s no one in America could claim to be a professional novelist, poet, or playwright.

 III.   Multiple choice.

1.       In American literature, the eighteenth century was the age of the Enlightenment, _______________ was the dominant spirit.

A.     Humanism

B.     Rationalism

C.     Revolution

D.     Evolution

2.       In American literature, the Enlighteners were opposed to ________________.

A.     the colonial order

B.     religious obscurantism

C.     the Puritan tradition

D.     the secular literature

3.       The English colonies in North America rose in arms against their parent country and the Continental Congress adopted __________ in 1776.

A.     the Declaration of Independence

B.     the Sugar Act

C.     the Stamp Act

D.     the Mayflower Compact

4.       The secular ideals of the American Enlightenment were exemplified in the life and career of ________________.

A.     Thomas Hood

B.     Benjamin Franklin

C.     Thomas Jefferson

D.     George Washington

5.       Franklin was the epitome of the ________________.

A.     American Enlightenment

B.     Sugar Act

C.     Chartist movement

D.     Romanticist

6.       Which is not connected with Thomas Paine?

A.     Common Sense

B.      The American Crisis

C.     Pennsylvania Magazine

D.     The Autobiography

7.       The first pamphlets published in America to urge immediate independence from Britain is ______________.

A.     The Rights of Man

B.      Common Sense

C.     The American Crisis

D.     Declaration of Independence

8.       Which statement about Freneau is true?

A.     He was a satirist

B.     He was a pamphleteer

C.     He was a poet

D.     He was a bitter polemicist

9.       Who was considered as the “Poet of American Revolution”?

A.     Michael Wigglesworth

B.     Edward Taylor

C.     Anne Bradstreet

D.     Philip Freneau

10.   Thomas Jefferson’s attitude, that is, a firm belief in progress, and the pursuit of happiness, is typical of the period we now call ______________.

A.     Age of Evolution

B.     Age of Reason

C.     Age of Romanticism

D.     Age of Regionalism

 . Identification o Fragments.

Passage 1

These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly:-‘Tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper upon its good;


1.       Which book is this passage taken from?

2.       Who is the author of this book?

3.       Whom is the author praising? Whom is the author criticizing?

4.       What do you think of the language?


Passage 2

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.


1.       Which work is this passage taken from?

2.       What truths are self-evident? What is the purpose of government, and when should a government be replaced?


Part Three

. Blank Filling.

1.       In the early nineteenth century, Washington Irving wrote _____________which became the first work by an American writer to win financial success on both sides of an Atlantic.

2.       In 1755, _____________ published his remarkable dictionary named Dictionary of the English Language.

3.       The American Transcendentalists formed a club called _____________________.

4.       ____________ was regarded as the first great prose stylist of American romanticism.

5.       In Irving’s work ______________________ appeared the first modern short stories and the first great American juvenile literature.

6.       The short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is taken from Irving’s work named __________.

7.       Irving’s first book appeared in 1809. It was entitled ______________________.

8.       The first important American novelist was ______________________.

9.       The best of Cooper’s sea romances was ____________. The hero of the novel represents John Paul Jones, the great naval fighter of the Revolutionary War.

10.   ___________ was the first American to gain the stature of a major poet in the world literature.

11.   Poe’s poem _____________ is perhaps the best example of onomatopoeia in the English language.

12.   Ralph ___________________ Emerson was responsible for bringing Transcendentalism to New England.

13.   In 1845, Thoreau began a two-year residence at ______________ Pond.

14.   From Thoreau’s Concord jail experience, came his famous essay______________________.

15.   Melville’s novel _______________ is a tremendous chronicle of a whaling voyage in pursuit of a seemingly supernatural white whale.

16.   The most scholarly of Longfellow’s writings is his translation of Dante’s _______________.

17.   Longfellow and ______________________ are the only two American poets commemorated in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey.

18.   The American Romantic period stretches from the end of the eighteenth century through the outburst of the ________________________.

19.   In The Pioneers, ________________ represents the ideal American, living a virtuous and free life in God’s world.

20.   Melville’s world classic novel Moby Dick was dedicated to __________________, a novelist.

 . Decide Whether the Statements Are True or False.

1.       By the 1830s Irving was judged the nation’s greatest writer, a lofty position he later shared with James Fenimore Cooper and William Cullen Bryant.

2.       Romantic values were prominent in American politics, art, and philosophy until the Civil War.

3.       As a moral philosophy, transcendentalism was neither logical nor systematical.

4.       Transcendentalism exalted feeling over reason, individual expression over the restraints of law and custom.

5.       Nationalism stimulated a greater literary interest in America’s language and its common people in the early nineteenth century.

6.       Stirred by the teachings of transcendentalism, writers of Boston and nearby towns produced a New England literary renaissance.

7.       The foundation of American national literature was laid by the early American romanticists.

8.       The works of the later romanticists are often saturated with mysticism of religious sentiments.

9.       Bancroft, Prescott, Motley and Parkman found literary fame in the writing of poetry.

10.   Irving was the only American writer of his generation who could chide the British in an atmosphere of good humor.

11.   Cooper launched two kinds of immensely popular stories: the sea adventure tale, and the frontier saga.

12.   The sound of Poe’s words casts a magic spell over the readers. His tone is awesome, sad and melancholy.

13.   In 1836, Emerson published his first book, Nature, which met with a wild reception.

14.   Like Poe, Hawthorne often used grotesque or fantastic events, but Hawthorne’s work is broader in range and has more depth of thought.

15.   Longfellow’s writings belong to the milder aspects of the Romantic Movement.

16.   Although foreign influences were strong, American romanticism exhibited from the very outset distinct features of its own.

17.   Puritan influence over American Romanticism was conspicuously noticeable.

18.   All his literary life, Hawthorne seemed to be haunted by his sense of sin and evil in life.

19.   Although Hawthorne is ambiguous and his tales are often capable of more than one interpretation, he is certainly at his best when writing about evil.

 . Multiple Choice.

1.       In 1837, the first college-level institution for women, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, opened in ________________ to serve the “muslin sex”.

A.      New England

B.      Virginia

C.      Massachusetts

D.     New York

2.       Transcendentalist doctrines found their greatest literary advocates in ___________ and Thoreau.

A.      Jefferson

B.      Emerson

C.      Freneau

D.     Oversoul

3.       Who were regarded as the “School-room Poets”?

A.      Longfellow

B.      Lowell

C.      Holmes

D.     Whittier

4.       ____________ was the most leading spirit of the Transcendental Club.

A.      Thoreau

B.      Emerson

C.      Hawthorne

D.     Whitman

5.       In the early nineteenth century America, statesmen such as ___________, came to dominate American politics not with their prose but with the emotional force of their oratory.

A.      Daniel Webster

B.      Daniel Defoe

C.      Philip Freneau

D.     Thomas Paine

6.       An American Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1828 by _____________.

A.      Samuel Johnson

B.      Noah Webster

C.      Daniel Webster

D.     Daniel Defoe

7.       Choose Irving’s works from the following.

A. The Sketch Book

B. Bracebridge Hall

C. Tales of a Travellar

D. A History of New York

8.       In 1817, the stately poem called Thannatopsis introduced the best poet ___________ to appear in America up to that time.

A.      Edward Taylor

B.      Philip Freneau

C.      William Cullen Bryant

D.     Edgar Allan Poe

9.       From the following, choose the poems written by Adgar Allan Poe.

A. To Helen

B. The Raven

C. Annabel Lee

D. The Bells

10.   Poe’s first collection of short stories is ____________.

A. Tales of a Traveller

B. Leatherstocking Tales

C. Canterbury Tales

D. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque

11.   Which book is not written by Emerson?

A. Representative Men

B. English Traits

C. Nature

D. The Phodora

12.   The finest example of Hawthorne’s symbolism is the recreation of Puritan Boston in _______.

A. The Scarlet Letter

B. Young Goodman Brown

C. The Marble Faun

D. The Ambitious Guest

13.   Which is not Hawthorne’s long novel?

A.      The Scarlet Letter

B. The Marble Faun

C. The Blithedale Rommance

D. The House of Seven Gables

E. Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment

14.   Choose the characters which appear in the novel The Scarlet Letter.

A.      Hester Prynne.

B.      Arthur Dimmesdale

C.      Roger Chillingworth

D.     Pearl

15.   In the early nineteenth century American moral values were essentially Puritan. Nothing has left a deeper imprint on the character of the people as a whole than did _____________.

A.      Puritanism

B.      Romanticism

C.      Rationalism

D.     Sentimentalism

16.   Irving was best known for his famous stories such as _______________ and _____________.

A. Rip Van Winkle

B. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

C. Life of Goldsmith

D. Life of Washington

17.   New England Transcendentalism was important to American literature. It inspired a whole new generation of famous authors such as __________, and Dickinson.

A.      Emerson

B.      Thoreau

C.      Hawthorne

D.     Melville

E.      Whitman

18.   Which is regarded as the “Declaration of Intellectual Independence”?

A. The American Scholar

B. English Traits

C. The Conduct of Life

D. Representative Men

19.   Which three novels drew from Melville’s adventures among the people of the South Pacific islands.

A. Typee

B. Omoo

C. Mardi

D. Redbrun

20.   Melville’s ____________________ is an encyclopedia of everything, history, philosophy, religion, etc, in addition to a detailed account of the operations of the whaling industry.

A. The Old Man and the Sea

B. Moby Dick

C. White Jacket

D. Billy Budd

. Identification of Fragments.

Passage 1

Lo! in you brilliant window-niche

How statue-like I see thee stand,

The agate lamp within thy hand!

Ah, Psyche, from the regions which

Are Holy-Land!


1.       This is the last stanza of a poem “To Helen”. Its writer is ____________________.

2.       With whom is Helen associated in line 14?

3.       Who is Psyche?


Passage 2

Standing on the bare ground,-- my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, ---all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.


1.       Which work is this fragment taken from?

2.       How do you understand the philosophical ideas in this words?


Passage 3

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

                         For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real---- life is earnest---

And the grave is not its goal:

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.


1.       Who is the writer of these lines?

2.       What is the title of the whole poem from which the two stanzas are taken?

3.       Summarize the poet’s advice for living.


 Part Four

. Blank Filling.

1.       Realism had originated in the country _________________ as realism, a literary doctrine that called for “reality and truth” in the depiction of ordinary life.

2.       Henry ____________ probed deeply at the individual psychology of his characters, writing in a rich and intricate style that supported his intense scrutiny of complex human experience.

3.       _____________________ had an evident influence on naturalism. It seemed to stress the animality of man, to suggest that he was dominated by the irresistible forces of evolution.

4.       There was only one female prose writer in the nineteenth century. This was ______________.

5.       Mrs. Stowe’s masterpiece is __________________________.

6.       ___________________ was the first literary giant born West of the Mississippi.

7.       Many of O. Henry’s stories tell about the lives of poor people in _______________________.

8.       Henry James’ first novel is ___________________, which failed to make him famous.

9.       The name of the heroine in The Portrait if a Lady is ______________________.

10.   The first novel of Theodore Dreiser was ______________________.

11.   Dreiser visited the Soviet Union in 1927 and published _______________________ the following year.

12.   Mark Twain’s first novel, _________________________ was an artistic failure, but it gave its name to the America of the postbellum period which it attempts to satirize.

13.   ___________________ is the pioneer who wrote in the naturalistic tradition.

14.   Jack London’s masterwork _________________ is somewhat autobiographical.

15.   O. Henry’s _____________________ is a very moving story of a young couple who sell their best possessions in order to get money for a Christmas present for each other.

 . Decide Whether the Statements are True or False.

 1.       In the latter half of the nineteenth century, women somewhat became the nation’s dominant culture force.

2.       Earlier in the nineteenth century, Cooper had insisted on the author’s right to present an idealized and poetic portrait of life, to avoid representations of “squalid misery”.

3.       After the Civil War, the Frontier was closing. Disillusionment and frustration were widely felt. What had been expected to be a “Golden Age” turned to be a “Gilded” one.

4.       Mark Twain had, as his aim of writing, the soul, the life, and the speech of the people in mind.

5.       Placed in historical perspective, Howells is found lacking in qualities and depth. But anyhow he is a literary figure worthy of notice.

6.       Life on the Mississippi was such a truthful description that Howells felt that he could taste “the mud” in it.

7.       Tom Sawyer walked out of Twain’s pages directly from his fresh memory of his boyhood in the west.

8.       Stephen Crane died of tuberculosis in Germany at the age of 28.

9.       American naturalism, like realism, had come from Europe.

10.   Most of the poems in Leaves of Grass are about man and nature.

11.   Many of O. Henry’s stories contain a lot of slang and colloquial expressions, just like his own speech.

12.   In subject matter, Henry James began as a realist and ended as a psychological novelists.

13.   Generally speaking, London was much more interested in ideas than Crane and less sentimental than Norris.

14.   Sister Carrie is generally regarded as Dreiser’s masterpiece.

15.   Hurstwood is a character in Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.

 . Multiple Choice.

 1.       In the late 19th century, a host of new writers appeared, among them were ________________.

A.      Bret Harte

B.      William Dean Howells.

C.      Hamlin Garland

D.     Mark Twain

2.       Mark Twain created, in _____________, a masterpiece of American realism that is also one of the great books of world literature.

A. Huckleberry Finn

B. Tom Sawyer

C. The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

D. The Gilded Age

3.       The pessimism and deterministic ideas of naturalism pervaded the works of such American writers as _____________________.

A.      Stephen Crane

B.      Frank Norris

C.      Jack London

D.     Henry James

E.      Theodore Dreiser

4.       American literature produced only one female poet during the nineteenth century. This was ___________.

A.      Anne Bradstreet

B.      Jane Austen

C.      Emily Dickinson

D.     Harriet Beecher

5.       Choose the works written by Mark Twain.

A. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

B. Innocents Abroad

C. Life on the Mississippi

D. The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

E. The Prince and the Pauper

6.       Which statements about O. Henry are right?

A.      He wrote about the poor people.

B.      His stories are usually short and humorous.

C.      The plots of his stories are exceedingly clever and interesting.

D.     The ends of his stories are always surprising.

E.      Many of his stories contain a great deal of slang and colloquial expressions.

7.       Choose the well-known short stories written by William Sidney Porter.

A. The Gift of the Magi.

B. An Unfinished Room

C. The Furnished Room

D. The Voice of the City

E. The Cop and the Anthem

8.       Choose the novels written by Henry James.

A. The American

B. Daisy Miller

C. The Portrait of a Lady

D. The Tragic Muse

E. The Golden Bowl

9.       In 1900, London published his first collection of short stories, named _____________.

A. The Son of the Wolf

B. The Sea Wolf

C. The Law of Life

D. White Fang

10.   Dreiser’s Trilogy of Desire includes three novels. Find them from the following.

A. The Financier

B. The Titan

C. The Genius

D. The Stoic

E. Jannie Gerhardt

11.   The main theme of _______________ The Art of Fiction reveals his literary credo that representation of life should be the main object of the novel.

A.      Henry James’

B.      William Dean Howells’

C.      Mark Twain’s

D.     O. Henry’s

12.   Choose the three staunch advocates of nineteenth-century American realism.

A.      Mark Twain

B.      Henry James

C.      William Dean Howells

D.     Jack London

13.   Mark Twain stood on the side of China in its struggle against foreign invasions. His __________ and ___________ are two notable examples of his vigorous attacks on the imperialist behavior of the United States and other foreign countries in China.

A. The Treaty With China

B. To the Person Sitting in Darkness

C. Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy

D. Goldsmith’s Friend Abroad Again

14.   Which writers have naturalist tendency?

A.      Stephen Crane

B.      Frank Norris

C.      Theodore Dreiser

D.     Edwin Arlington Robinson

15.   Choose Jack London’s works from the following.

A. The Call of the Wild

B. White Fang

C. The Sea Wolf

D. Martin Eden

. Identification of Fragments.

Passage 1

“It is impossible to conceive of a human creature more wholly desolate and forlorn than Eliza, when she turned her footsteps from Uncle Tom’s cabin.”


1.       This is taken from a famous novel. What is the name of the novel?

2.       What is the name of the writer?

3.       Do you know more about Uncle Tom?


Passage 2

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs

to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,

I learn and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.


1.       This is the first two stanzas in the section of a long poem entitled ________________.

2.       The name of the poet is _______________________.

3.       Who is the poet celebrating? Whom do line2-3 also include in the celebration?

4.       What is the verse structure?

5.       Take the fifth line as a hint, can you write out the name of the poet’s completed collections of poems?

 Part Five

 I.  Blank Filling

1.       __________ stands as a great dividing line between the nineteenth century and the contemporary American literature.

2.       In 1920, Sinclair Lewis published his memorable denunciation of American small-town provincialism in ________.

3.       Fitzgerald summarized the experiences and attitudes of the 1920s decade in his masterpiece novel _________.

4.       The 1950s American writers often used the narrative techniques derived from William _________.

5.       Richard Wright, a black novelist, and __________, a black poet, were the first two Negro writers to achieve national fame.

6.       Pound was the leader of a new movement in poetry which he called the “_________” movement.

7.       One of Robinson’s early books, ___________, once came to the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt.

8.       Robert Frost’s first book ________ brought him to the attention of influential critics, such as Ezra Pound, who praised him as an authentic poet.

9.       For the publication of his Collected Poems, ________ received the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

10.   In 1915, ____________ published his Prufrock and other Observations.

11.   As T. S. Eliot declared, he followed strictly the advice of his close friend __________ in cutting and concentrating the Waste Land.

12.   In the novel The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway portrayed an old fisherman named _______, who shows triumphant even in defeat.

13.   In the short novel ___________, Steinbeck portrayed the tragic friendship between two migrant workers.

14.   Joe Christmas is a character in Faulkner’s novel __________.

15.   The works written by __________ may be viewed as a culmination of the development of twentieth-century southern fiction.

 II.     Decide Whether the Statements Are True of False.

1.       The best-selling American books in the first decades of the twentieth century were historical romances.

2.       The First World War led the American intellectuals to a bitter disillusionment.

3.       Edwin Arlington Robinson began his career as a novelist in bleakness and poverty.

4.       Like Robert Frost, Robinson was also noted for his use of a dry, sometimes biting, New England humor.

5.       Frost’s concern with nature reflected his deep moral uncertainties.

6.       Throughout his life, Fitzgerald’s greatest happiness and deepest sorrow were caused by his wife Zelda.

7.       Hemingway’s works have sometimes been read as an essentially negative commentary on a modern world filled with sterility, failure, and death.

8.       In Dubious Battle was Steinbeck’s most clearly “Proletarian” novel of class struggle.

9.       Faulkner’s region was the Deep South, with its bitter history of slavery, civil war and destruction.

10.   Faulkner died just one year after Hemingway, and so passed away America’s two most remarkable modern writers.

 III.   Multiple Choice

1.       The best-selling American books in the first decades of the twentieth century were _________.

A.      traveling books

B.      commercial books

C.      historical romances

D.     news reports

 2.       The Imagist writers followed three principles, they respectively are:

A.      direct treatment

B.      economy of expression

C.      clear rhythm

D.     blank verse

 3.       ___________ showed great interest in Chinese literature and translated the poetry of Li Po into English, and was influenced by Confucian ideas.

A.      Ezra Pound

B.      Robert Frost

C.      T. S. Eliot

D.     E. E. Cummings

 4.       “Ben Jonson Entertains a Man from Stratford”, this poem was written by Robinson. It is a brilliant commentary on ___________’s character.

A.      Ben Jonson

B.      Shakespeare

C.      John Milton

D.     Samuel Johnson

 5.       Choose the books written by Robert Frost.

A.      Mountain Interval

B.      New Hampshire

C.      West-Running Book

D.     A Further Range

 6.       Thomas Sutpen is a character in Faulkner’s novel _____________.

A.      Absalom, Absalom!

B.      The People, Yes

C.      In Rechless Ecstasy

D.     The American Songbag

7.       Choose the poems written by Stevens.

A.      Anecdote of the Jar

B.      The Emperor of Ice-Cream

C.      Peter Quince at the Clavier

D.     Departmental

 8.       _____________, a poetic tragedy on the betrayal of Thomas a Becket, is a drama of impressive spiritual power.

A.      The Confidential Clerk

B.      The Cocktail Party

C.      The Family Reunion

D.     Murder in the Cathedral

 9.       Which three novels form a trilogy which tells the saga of the unscrupulous Snopes family.

A.      The Hamlet

B.      The Town

C.      The Mansion

D.     The Unvanquished

 10.   Most of the important twentieth-century American poets were related with Imagist movement, including

A.      Ezra Pound

B.      Wallace Stevens

C.      E. E. Cummings

D.     Carl Sandburg

E.      T. S. Eliot

 IV.                             Identification of Fragments

 Passage 1

 In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.


1.       Who is the author of this short poem?

2.       What two images are juxtaposed, or placed next to each other in this poem?

3.       How do you appreciate this poem?


Passage 2

 The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


1.                     Who is the writer of this poem?

2.                     What is the title of this poem?

3.                     What kind of feeling does this stanza show?

4.                     How do you appreciate this poem?

 Passage 3

 They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…


1.       Which novel is this passage taken from?

2.       Who is the writer of this novel?

3.       What is the author’s attitude toward such persons as Tom and Daisy?