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 is the occasion of Ellison's speech "Brave Words on a Startling Occasion?"
(a) Address to the Harvard University graduating class of 1950.
(b) Acceptance of the American National Book Award in 1953.
(c) Induction into the American Negro Writer's Hall of Fame.
(d) Eldest son's wedding.

2. That Ellison's first novel might win a prestigious award makes him think what?
(a) The committee has made a huge mistake.
(b) There is a crisis in the American novel.
(c) He is a brilliant writer.
(d) He is chosen only because he is Negro.

3. Who is Mrs. L.C. McFarland?
(a) Literary critic for the New York Post.
(b) Author of "Bound for Glory Someday".
(c) Woman who would become Ellison's second wife.
(d) History teacher in Ellison's grade school.

4. What does the phrase "to finger its jagged grain and to transcend it" refer to?
(a) The complexity of writing fiction.
(b) The power of the blues.
(c) To walk the razor's edge of reason.
(d) To climb great mountains.

5. Other white cultures have black face type entertainment, but what is different about American black face?
(a) American black face is always light and fun.
(b) The American history of slavery makes it a "ritual of exorcism."
(c) American black face is performed by Negro actors only.
(d) The American history of inclusive entertainment makes it acceptable.

6. What does Ellison believe writing is?
(a) Channeling of higher beings.
(b) Ethical instrument.
(c) Mindless activity.
(d) A way to criticize others.

7. What is dangerous and different about Wright's attitude?
(a) Refused to participate in school.
(b) Ran for public office and refused to accept defeat.
(c) Sought individual freedom in a "pre-individual" Negro culture.
(d) Was loud and demanding of others.

8. What does Wright do at age four?
(a) Makes a speech at church.
(b) Plays the piano.
(c) Sets the house on fire.
(d) Begins to read.

9. What does Crane die of and where?
(a) The black plague of 1834, in London, England.
(b) In a fierce battle on the plains of Alsace.
(c) Murder, on board a ship crossing the Atlantic.
(d) Tuberculosis, in the far Black Forest of Germany.

10. In the essay "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke" what does Ellison say black face allows white America to do?
(a) Avoid looking at the shallowness of white American culture.
(b) Pour out its hatred and fear in a theatrical form.
(c) Laugh and forget about its troubles and woes.
(d) See the Negro story from a different perspective.

11. What does the phrase "beating that boy" mean?
(a) The actions of white policemen upon finding Negros in the wrong part of town.
(b) The insidious method of beating the life out of a Negro man by calling him "boy".
(c) A quick victory in chess.
(d) Polite conversation between white and Negro persons about the "Negro problem".

12. Which critics of "Black Boy" does Ellison want to respond to?
(a) Those who believe Wright is a communist.
(b) Those who see the book as a miracle and its author a mystery.
(c) Those who believe Wright is exaggerating the truth.
(d) Those who believe Wright is self-involved.

13. What three ways do Negroes in Wright's childhood survive?
(a) Vote, campaign, or legislate.
(b) Accept, repress or fight.
(c) Embrace, celebrate, or be grateful.
(d) Enjoy, relax, or savor.

14. What Bible myth is referred to in "The World and the Jug?"
(a) Baby Moses and the Pharaoh's daughter.
(b) Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
(c) Noah, Ham, Shem and Japheth.
(d) Garden of Eden.

15. Violence is inflicted upon Wright by family, friends, and society as a whole. What is his response?
(a) Retreat.
(b) Passivity.
(c) Violence.
(d) Seclusion.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Falkner understand about racial social code of the South?

2. Why does Ellison's family live in a middle class white neighborhood in Oklahoma City?

3. How does Ellison describe the philosopher Kierkegaard in the "Stephen Crane.." essay?

4. As a child what is Wright unable to distinguish between?

5. Where does Ellison grow up?

(see the answer keys)

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