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

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

3. Who is the editor of "The Primer for White Folks?"
(a) Anonymous.
(b) Richard Wright.
(c) Bucklin Moon.
(d) Ralph Ellison.

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

5. Falkner writes exclusively of the southern experience yet Ellison believes him to be addressing what?
(a) Northern Negro experience.
(b) Effect of war upon culture.
(c) Nature of man.
(d) Inevitable rise and fall of every civilization.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. For Ellison who is the greatest artist the south has ever produced?

3. Where is the essay "Stephen Crane and the Mainstream of American Fiction" published?

4. Why does Ellison choose to analyze Mark Twain?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Ellison critique about the authors included in the Primer?

2. Why does Ellison choose to write about Faulkner?

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

4. Why does Ellison say that the least form of segregation is the word?

5. How did a library for Negro persons emerge in Oklahoma City?

6. How does Ellison leave the rather bitter dialogue with Howe?

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

8. What does the second half of the title "Hidden Names and Complex Fate" refer to?

9. What is the difference between the way Hyman and Ellison view "the darky" entertainer?

10. As a child Ellison imagined himself as a "Renaissance man." What does that mean?

(see the answer keys)

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