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. Why is Brockway hostile toward the narrator?

2. Why does Mr. Bledsoe compose his face into a bland mask?

3. The concept of the character as invisible is symbolic of which of the following conditions?

4. What is the narrator's explanation for taking Mr. Norton to the Golden Day?

5. How does the narrator excuse his lack of responsibility?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What lie does Dr. Bledsoe expect the narrator to tell?

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

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

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

7. How has the narrator ended up in the factory hospital? How is he being treated once he gets there?

8. Why is Harlem a particularly appropriate setting for the novel?

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

10. What does Mary Rambo want the narrator to do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What does the narrator mean when he talks about "existing outside of history"? Where does he envision himself by the end of the story? Since he never tells us his name, has he ultimately clarified or further obscured his self-discovery and identity?

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

Early in the novel, the graduating black boys are deliberately used as cruel sport for the white men at a club. Norton is at the club with all the other white men. Norton does not care about the black boys any more than anyone else does. Therefore, what is his purpose at the college? Explain the things that Mr. Norton and Brother Jack have in common.

(see the answer keys)

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