Shadow and Act Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What does Ellison suggest as a subtitle for "Primer for White Folks?"
(a) How-to book for Bigots and Innocents.
(b) Short Course on the American Negro for Those Who "Beat That Boy".
(c) Method for finding Peace and Harmony among the Races.
(d) Comprehensive Study of the Unruly Seas of Race.

2. How does Ellison start writing?
(a) Richard Wright asks him to review a novel for Wright's magazine.
(b) Ellison fails to get into the jazz band he wants so he writes about it.
(c) Ellison is commissioned by the New York City Opera to write a libretto.
(d) His mother asks him to write the story of her life.

3. Why does Ellison choose to analyze Ernest Hemingway?
(a) Hemingway sold more books than any other American author.
(b) Hemingway ignored the dramatic and symbolic possibilities a Negro character would present.
(c) Hemingway was not American.
(d) Hemingway grew up in Oklahoma City also.

4. How does Ellison describe Wright's autobiography "Black Boy?"
(a) Another failed attempt to pierce the great wall between races.
(b) An angry young man's immoderate tale of delusion.
(c) The Negro answer to "Huckleberry Finn."
(d) A non-white intellectual's statement of his relationship with Western culture.

5. Why does Ellison choose to analyze William Falkner?
(a) Falkner writes about Negro life with mixed motives but also with great success.
(b) Falkner is very critical of Ellison's novel.
(c) Falkner is a great artist and could not be left out of the discussion.
(d) Falkner is a close personal friend of Ellison.

6. What are the three major section of the "Primer for White Folks?"
(a) Heritage, Short Stories, Today and Tomorrow.
(b) Beginning, Middle, End.
(c) Right, Wrong, Ambivilent.
(d) White, Negro, Mixed Race.

7. What is Ellison's original choice of career?
(a) Politician.
(b) Policeman.
(c) Barber.
(d) Musician.

8. What is the origin of the essay "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke?"
(a) "Invisible Man."
(b) Short story about lynching.
(c) Treatise on the folk art of tying knots.
(d) Letter written by Ellison when he was living in Rome to an old friend.

9. How does Ellison describe the philosopher Kierkegaard in the "Stephen Crane.." essay?
(a) Household god for many contemporary novelists.
(b) Pinnacle of the romantic poets of the 1950s.
(c) Philosopher king who wrecked the castle.
(d) The keeper of Sophocles flame.

10. Why does Oklahoma hold some freedom and equality for Negroes at the time Ellison lived there?
(a) Oklahoma is founded on Mormon principles which forbade prejudice.
(b) It is fully integrated and equality was legislated.
(c) There are almost no Negroes in Oklahoma.
(d) It has no tradition of slavery.

11. Where and when is the essay "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke" published?
(a) Yale Literary Review, Winter, 1960.
(b) New Yorker Magazine, Summer, 1959.
(c) Life Magazine, Summer, 1958.
(d) Partisan Review, Spring 1958.

12. What does Mark Twain do with the character of Jim that breaks through the black face minstrel tradition?
(a) Jim performs black face without the paint.
(b) Jim's very serious and not at all fun.
(c) Jim is stereotypical and boring.
(d) He's a complex, dignified and very human person.

13. What type of jug does Ellison believe young Negro writers, such as himself, are in?
(a) Expensive jug, one to be carefully guarded.
(b) Small overcrowded jug.
(c) Transparent jug, stuck inside but able to see out.
(d) Broken jug, leaking and being wasted.

14. Where is Richard Wright born?
(a) On a Mississippi plantation.
(b) In a log cabin located in the heart of Nebraska.
(c) On a train as it traveled from Georgia to Maine.
(d) In the New York City Negro hospital

15. Who is Stanley Edgar Hyman?
(a) The prominent Negro intellectual who wrote "Santa Claus is Black."
(b) Ellison's uncle who has a good sense of humor.
(c) A lyricist and comedian in the 1930's.
(d) A scholar who wrote on the relationship between Negro literature and folklore.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is it that widens Ellison's world in a dramatic way?

2. What does Ellison praise about "Primer for White Folks?"

3. What are the three themes of "Shadow and Act" according to the Introduction?

4. What does Ralph Ellison's father hope that Ralph will grow up to be?

5. How many children are in Stephen Crane's birth family?

(see the answer keys)

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