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 cord in chapter 11 symbolize?

2. How does the narrator describe the students as they enter the chapel?

3. What does Trueblood's story suggest about the white men at the jail house?

4. Why is the narrator initially concerned about finding work as soon as possible?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Explain the irony of the figurine owned by Mary.

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

5. What does Brother Jack really want the narrator to avoid doing?

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

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

8. How does the narrator really feel about the gift of the chain from Brother Tarp?

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

10. Why does Mr. Norton give Jim Trueblood $100?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

What is illusion? Can illusion be imposed upon a person without his consent? Can illusion be chosen so effectively that a person believes his own fancies? Discuss which characters are choosing to be deluded. Is the delusion helping or hurting their cause?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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