Invisible Man Test | Lesson Plans 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

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 2

Blindness is one of the most pervasive motifs of the novel. Discuss the different types of blindness that are represented by the characters, for example, Norton, Mary, the two nuns, Brother Jack, Ras, the narrator himself, and others. Choose three or four characters that represent different types of blindness and explain how their blindness influences their actions and decisions. Is there anyone in the novel who sees clearly, whether he uses his sight for good or for evil purposes?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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