Invisible Man Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. The dark tunnel is symbolic of the narrator's

2. The main conflict of Ellison's original story revolves around

3. Dr. Bledsoe is preoccupied with what?

4. Ellison himself was a member of which branch of the military?

5. According to Ellison, for what have African Americans historically had to fight?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the significance of the black thread that controls the dancing doll?

2. Why does Jack become angry with the man who asks the narrator to sing a "spiritual"?

3. What strikes the narrator as the profound truth about the riot?

4. Explain the initial results of the narrator's strategy of "yessing" them to death.

5. What was the narrator's real problem, and how has he settled it?

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

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

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

9. Identify several mistakes that the narrator makes in his first assigned speech in Harlem.

10. Explain why the "woman question" is typical of the Brotherhood's approach to issues.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of white vs black and dark vs light throughout the novel. How are these contrasting concepts used in unexpected ways?

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

Discuss the women in the novel: Mary, Emma, Sybil, the nuns, and the white woman at the rally. What role do the women play in the narrator's development?

(see the answer keys)

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