Shadow and Act Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Why does Ellison begin the speech by referring to Ernest Hemingway?
(a) Hemingway is often misspelled and therefore hidden.
(b) Hemingway is a writer Ellison strongly identifies with.
(c) The name Hemingway is a pseudonym.
(d) Hemingway once called Ellison by the wrong name, Emerson.

2. Who names Ellison?
(a) His father.
(b) The midwife that delivered him.
(c) His parish priest.
(d) A passing stranger.

3. What does Ellison say good fiction is made of?
(a) Eternal truth.
(b) Fun.
(c) What is real.
(d) Tricks of the trade.

4. What is the Negro child taught to see the white man as?
(a) Wise and loyal.
(b) Omniscient, omnipotent and as relentless as a Mississippi flood.
(c) Something to be ignored.
(d) A being from another planet.

5. Who is Stanley Hyman's favorite archetypal figure?
(a) Trickster.
(b) Messiah.
(c) King.
(d) Orphaned prince.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Oklahoma hold some freedom and equality for Negroes at the time Ellison lived there?

2. Where does Ellison say civil wars are fought?

3. How does Ellison describe his boyhood experience in Oklahoma?

4. What is the name of the college Ellison attended?

5. What type of literature does Ellison believe Wright's novel "Black Boy" is?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is different about Oklahoma and the relationship of different races when compared to the South or even to Texas?

2. What were some of the catastrophic events which occurred in Wright's life?

3. Why was the young Ellison drawn to reading?

4. What, for Ellison, is the great shaping event of twentieth-century fiction?

5. Who was it that suggested to Ellison that he review a book and write a short story?

6. What does Ellison admire most about "The Primer for White Folks?"

7. Though "Black Boy" presents a brutal and violent world, what else does it manage to convey about the young Wright?

8. What is the common image of the Negro in contemporary literature according to Ellison?

9. What is the "hidden name" Ellison is referring in the title of his speech to the Library of Congress in 1064?

10. In "Richard Wright's blues" how does Ellison describe the blues?

(see the answer keys)

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