Humanities
What Role Did Apples Have in American Society up Until 1900 Discussion Questions

Question Description

I’m studying for my Literature class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

1What role did apples have in American society up until 1900? How did the role change? How were apples consumed? (9, 22)

2Explain Pollan’s comment that apple breeders are “locked in a kind of sweetness arms race withjunk food.” (51) How many apple varieties were commercially available a century ago? (51) How manyvarieties have you tasted in your lifetime?

3How has the word “sweet” been used over history? Do youthink of sweetness as a noble quality? What does Pollansuggest brought about this shift? (17-18)

4 Explain Pollan’s assertion that both Chapman and the apple“have been sweetened beyond recognition. Figures of tart wildness, both have been thoroughly domesticated...in bothcases a cheap, fake sweetness has been substituted for the real thing.” (7) Has modern sweetness become boring? Explain

5 Imagine a world without apples. How would it be? What would we miss?

6. What do psychiatrists think of patients who are indifferent toward flowers? How long have people valued flowers as beautiful? Why did Jews and early Christians discourage devotion to flowers? (66) Where are flowers not loved? What might explain this? (67)

7. Give some examples of the visual, olfactory, and tactile devices that flowers employ to get the attention of animals. (69)

8What is “beauty by design?” (75) What are the two main principles of beauty Pollan describes? (75-77) Why is symmetry significant? Which flowers does Pollan identify as our canonical flowers? (78) Why does he see them as so important to us? Everyone

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Final Answer

Attached.

Running head: BOTANY OF DESIRE

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Botany of Desire
Name
Institutional Affiliation

BOTANY OF DESIRE

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Question 1
American society, until 1900, grew apples to make cider. Every year, American society
made thousands of cider gallons. Ideally, cider was an alcohol gift brought to the frontier. The
people in rural areas used cider in various ways, including beer, wine, tea, coffee, juice, and
water. The use of apples to make cider changed when Women’s Christian Temperance Union
declared war on cider. The public campaigns by the apple industry led to the discovery of apples
as a way of improving wholesomeness and health (Pollan, 2001). Apples were consumed as
cider, fruit flesh, or cyanide made from seeds.
Question 2
Apples had to compete with various kinds of sugary snacks food sold in the supermarket.
This is because the easy sweetness culture fr...

DrAtticus (10896)
Rice University

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