SAT Subject US History Practice Question 795: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 795

56. Willa Cather's My ?ntonia and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are similar in that both

A. showed the effects of slavery and racism on American society.
B. focused on the difficulties of immigrants in adjusting to American life.
C. presented the culture and customs of particular regions of the United States.
D. failed to gain popular acclaim in their authors' lifetimes.
E. alerted Americans to the wretched conditions in the factories.

Correct Answer: C


Regional literature was a staple of the 19th century. Many of Cather's stories chronicled the difficulties of frontier life on the plains of Nebraska, while Twain described life in the Mississippi River Valley. Twain's work examined issues of race in the United States (A), but issues of race are not central to Cather's work. Also, both writers wrote after slavery had ended. While much of Cather's work, notably O! Pioneers (1913) and My ?ntonia (1918), dealt with Slavic immigrants (B) who settled on the Great Plains, Twain's characters are virtually all native-born Americans. Both writers achieved critical and popular success in their lifetimes (D). Neither writer made industrial conditions a central concern of his or her work (E).

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