Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination 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. In what role does Morrison see the subject of a dream?

2. What hidden signals does Morrison look for?

3. Who is the author of Possession?

4. Morrison claims that she does not want to replace what with Afrocentric domination?

5. What does Morrison propose to investigate?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Toni Morrison think about Marie Cardinal's book?

2. What can happen if we learn about the way Africanism functions in the literary imagination?

3. How does Morrison describe references to the novel Sapphira and the Slave Girl?

4. What does the term Africanism mean?

5. Until recently, what did Morrison assume about all readers of American fiction?

6. What is the Byatt quote from Possession about?

7. What is the most significant question that stems from Morrison reading Cardinal's book?

8. What does Morrison say Sapphira and the Slave Girl is an example of?

9. According to Morrison, what does a black woman represent to literature but not to herself?

10. Describe the character Sapphira and her motives.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Morrison's Playing in the Dark, she discusses the dichotomies that black people are encouraged to fit into. Black people in literature are seen as markers for the benevolent and wicked, spiritual and voluptuous, sinful and enticing, and pure and restrained. Discuss an example of each of these dichotomies. Then explain why it is harmful for black people to be pushed into these roles constantly in literature.

Essay Topic 2

Morrison started a file to document instances of black people igniting moments of discovery in literature not written by them. Why is this significant? Why did Morrison begin doing this? Is this a positive or negative thing for Morrison to do? Why? What effect did doing this have on Morrison?

Essay Topic 3

How does early America distinguish itself by pressing toward a future of freedom? What does this mean? How does this movement help Americans escape oppression? How does romance help to evade history?

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