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. What does the narrator notice about the whites in the city?

2. What does Dr. Bledsoe call the narrator?

3. What revelation does the "Tom Show" provide for Ellison?

4. Why is Brockway hostile toward the narrator?

5. Ellison's original story was written about which of the following?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the trip to the Trueblood house make the narrator feel uncomfortable?

2. What favor does the young Mr. Emerson do for the narrator?

3. How does the setting in chapter 5 provide additional foreshadowing?

4. What does Ellison mean by "benign neglect"?

5. In what way, according to the veteran, is the narrator likely to become a casualty?

6. What does Dr. Bledsoe mean by "acting the nigger."

7. Who are the sleeping ones?

8. Why is important to know that the introduction was written 30 years after the novel itself?

9. Why do the grandfather's dying words make the narrator feel guilty about receiving praise?

10. What does the narrator notice while waiting for his appointment with the trustees?

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

On several different occasions, the narrator speaks directly to the reader, ending in his epilogue with "perhaps I speak for you...." Who do you think Ellison imagined as his most likely audience? If the various groups of people in the book could be allegorical representations of cultural groups--i.e. college administrators, blue collar employers, political party leaders, low income minority groups, etc.--what message would they perceive in the novel? Choose two or three different groups and tell how the story might speak to each of them.

Essay Topic 3

Write an analysis of the various locations in which the narrator lives, i.e, the college, Harlem, in his new apartment, and finally in the "hole." Discuss how each location is a reflection of his changing attitude/character.

(see the answer keys)

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