Shadow and Act 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. Hemingway carries on Twain's technical discoveries in writing but loses what?

2. What type of jug does Ellison say Howe imagines Negro people to be in?

3. What does Crane die of and where?

4. Who is the editor of "The Primer for White Folks?"

5. What book does Hemingway believe all modern American fiction sprang from?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the Negro say when white America holds up twentieth century fiction and say "this is the American reality?"

3. Why was the young Ellison drawn to reading?

4. What does the phrase "The World and the Jug" refers to?

5. What does Ellison compare Wright's personal journey of blooming to?

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

7. Ellison originally wanted to be a musician. What changed for him?

8. Why does Ellison consider Stephen Crane to be such a great artist?

9. What does Ellison find so remarkable about Crane?

10. When Ellison accepts the American National Book Award for "The Invisible Man" what does he say that the award is recognizing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the essay about Twentieth Century Fiction Ellison is sharply critical of Hemingway. What is it that Hemingway lacks which disappoints Ellison so much? Is his criticism solely of Hemingway or is Ellison critiquing a generation of writers? What changes in the twenty century after World War I? Why does the Negro character disappear? What is Ellison's final conclusion in reference to Hemingway and his technical brilliance?

Essay Topic 2

Ellison poetically describes a lost and lovely world in "The Golden Age, Time Past." Minton's Playhouse is an amalgamation of home, community, the South, and the noisy excitement of New York City. What influence does Henry Minton have upon the jazz musicians he nurtures? What is the atmosphere like? How is creativity nourished?

Essay Topic 3

"The World and the Jug" is an angry, often humorous response to the white, northern liberal writer Irving Howe's article about Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison. What is Ellison's primary anger towards Howe based in? What pattern does he believe Howe has fallen into that is so similar to the discriminatory patterns against Negroes in America in general? What does Ellison argue that Howe is continuing when it comes to understanding the relationship between Negro and white culture?

(see the answer keys)

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