Invisible Man Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Mr. Norton explain the day's events?

2. What is ironic about Trueblood's situation?

3. Which of the following represents the narrator's philosophy?

4. What makes the narrator homesick when he first gets to New York?

5. Why is the narrator offended by the man behind the drugstore counter?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Ellison mean when he says that for African Americans, all wars are "wars within wars."

2. Why does the narrator say he is invisible?

3. What literary device is used in Chapter 4?

4. Describe Dr. Bledsoe.

5. What final action does the hospital take to ensure the narrator's silence?

6. What surprises the narrator upon his arrival in Harlem?

7. To what kind of action has music called the narrator?

8. What does the narrator expect from his visit with Mr. Bates?

9. Who are the sleeping ones?

10. How was the narrator's graduation speech a betrayal of black people?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The African American people--at whatever geographic location they are found in the novel--seem to have little hope of a future that is equal to the whites in terms of wealth, status, education, or upward mobility. Whether they are in the north or the south, the forces that impede progress have much in common. For example, Norton requires a barely "post-slavery" recipient, that is, someone who needs the help he imagines he is giving, in order for his endeavors to have any meaning. Similarly, numerous philosophers have suggested that we need the poor and downtrodden among us in order to have a subject upon which to practice charity. Discuss several different ways in which this attitude is expressed in the novel. Show what this approach of using a particular group target upon which to practice an ideology accomplishes both for the subject group and for the "charitable" or practicing entity.

Essay Topic 2

Several times the narrator recalls his grandfather's dying words. Discuss the situations in which the narrator recalls his grandfather, showing how he reacts to those memories upon different occasions.

Essay Topic 3

Being invisible can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. By the end of the novel, how does the narrator intend to use his invisibility? Is the state of being invisible to the inner eye of other people something that can be changed? If so, how? If not, why not?

(see the answer keys)

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