Shadow and Act Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. What is the Negro child taught to see the white man as?

2. How old is Stephen Crane when he dies?

3. Where might Crane have gotten information about the Civil War?

4. What does the phrase "to finger its jagged grain and to transcend it" refer to?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was the young Ellison drawn to reading?

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

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

4. What does Ellison tell us about the matriarch, Mrs. Jackson, in "The Way It Is."

5. What captures the attention of many critics about "Blues People."

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

7. What type of food is served at Minton's?

8. What was Ellison's writing process for "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke?"

9. Why does the Carnegie Foundation bring in a European (Swedish) economist to conduct a study of Negro persons in America?

10. How does the early film "Birth of the Nation" portray Negro persons?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In "Some Questions and Some Answers" Ellison makes the provocative statement that there is no Negro culture. What does he mean by this? How does he support his argument? What history does he draw upon to reveal his thinking on this matter?

Essay Topic 2

Who is Stephen Crane and why is Ellison so interested in him? What is it about Crane's style of writing that is important to Ellison's thinking about good writing? What does Crane do that makes him unique? Clearly Ellison holds Crane up as a great model for all novelists who follow. Is it Crane's technique, his ability to write in such specific ways, what impresses Ellison or is it Crane's willingness to look into the heart of the American culture and see what is there?

Essay Topic 3

The Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic is profiled with a sense of gratitude and anger. What is Ellison angry about and why? As much as he admires the clinic, why does he feel it should not be necessary? What is at the source of mental suffering for many persons in the Harlem community?

(see the answer keys)

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