American Literature Quiz


"All modern American literature comes from
one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.
American writing comes from that.
There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since."
--Ernest Hemingway


The answers appear after the last question, number 15.


1. In Walden, who urges people to simplify their lives and look to nature for meaning?

a. Robert Frost
b. Walt Whitman
c. Henry David Thoreau
d. Herman Melville

2. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is an example of naturalist fiction. Who wrote it?

a. Stephen Crane
b. Edith Wharton
c. Edgar Allan Poe
d. Eugene Debs

3. Black Boy is an autobiographical account of whose Southern boyhood?

a. Thomas Pynchon
b. Richard Wright
c. John Dos Passos
d. Saul Bellow

4. Who wrote Spoon River Anthology?

a. Edgar Lee Masters
b. Robert Lowell
c. Anne Sexton
d. Langston Hughes

5. Which of Upton Sinclair's books is about the meat-packing industry?

a. Main Street
b. Arrowsmith
c. Elmer Gantry
d. The Jungle

6. Vladimir Nabokov moved to the United States from where?

a. Poland
b. Hungary
c. Russia
d. Cuba

7. The writer of Common Sense died in poverty. Who was he?

a. Thomas Paine
b. Thomas Jefferson
c. Jack London
d. Henry James

8. Which of the following writers was a leading member of the Harlem Renaissance?

a. Allen Ginsberg
b. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
c. Langston Hughes
d. Louisa May Alcott

9. The Scarlet Letter is set where?

a. England during World War II
b. Paris during the French Revolution
c. the Middle Ages in Italy
d. Puritan America

10. Who is the narrator in The Great Gatsby?

a. Elmer Gantry
b. Nick Carraway
c. Ethan Frome
d. Mick Smith

11. Which American writer won the Nobel Prize in 1930?

a. Sinclair Lewis
b. Upton Sinclair
c. John Steinbeck
d. Raymond Chandler

12. Who used lowercase letters in his poetry?

a. Robert Frost
b. Walt Whitman
c. E. E. Cummings
d. Bret Harte

13. Which of Washington Irving's characters falls asleep for twenty years?

a. Tom Buchanan
b. Tom Joad
c. Philip Marlowe
d. Rip van Winkle

14. Who wrote the short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"?

a. Thomas Wolfe
b. Robert Penn Warren
c. Mickey Spillane
d. Ernest Hemingway

15. Who wrote Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five?

a. Kurt Vonnegut
b. Norman Mailer
c. James Baldwin
d. Ralph Ellison



Answers: 1-c, 2-a, 3-b, 4-a, 5-d, 6-c, 7-a, 8-c, 9-d, 10-b, 11-a, 12-c, 13-d, 14-d, 15-a

A Literary Quiz (Index)

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