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. According to Morrison, what demands are put on black people?

2. What is the opposite of restrained in the dichotomy present in Morrison's book?

3. What begins to tear at Cardinal's nerves?

4. Who wrote The Words to Say It?

5. What does Cardinal's first therapy realization concern?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Morrison's statement that the subject of the dream is the dreamer.

2. Which authors does Morrison describe as using black references in their work?

3. Describe the character Sapphira and her motives.

4. After reading the preface, what can the reader expect Morrison to discuss?

5. Who does Morrison blame for literary whiteness and blackness?

6. What does Morrison believe studies of racism focus on?

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

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

9. Describe The Words to Say It and its subject matter.

10. Describe the file that Morrison begins to keep.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does Hemingway portray race in his work? How is Hemingway distant from African-Americans in his work? What does this tell the reader? How does Hemingway show the difference between males and females? How does he relate this to race?

Essay Topic 2

Morrison states that she struggles with language that evokes hidden signals of racial superiority and that her vulnerability lies in romanticizing blackness. What does this mean? What does this tell the reader about Morrison and about literature? Give an example of hidden signals of racial superiority and romanticizing a race.

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?

(see the answer keys)

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