|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Other white cultures have black face type entertainment, but what is different about American black face?
2. What are the three major section of the "Primer for White Folks?"
3. Why does Ellison's family live in a middle class white neighborhood in Oklahoma City?
4. What does Ellison say the greatest difficulty for the Negro writer is?
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. How does Ellison leave the rather bitter dialogue with Howe?
3. What does Ellison find so remarkable about Crane?
4. What does the phrase "beating that boy" refer to?
5. Ellison originally wanted to be a musician. What changed for him?
6. In "Richard Wright's blues" how does Ellison describe the blues?
7. Though "Black Boy" presents a brutal and violent world, what else does it manage to convey about the young Wright?
8. Did Richard Wright influence Baldwin or Ellison?
9. What does Ellison critique about the authors included in the Primer?
10. What, for Ellison, is the great shaping event of twentieth-century fiction?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
In "Hidden Name and Complex Fate" Ellison reveals that it was his father, who died when Ellison was three years old, who chose for him the name of a famous white poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and in doing so cast upon him a complex fate. What was that fate and how did it slowly reveal itself through Ellison's life? Why was it such a struggle to come to peace with? Why was it such a blessing and a curse?
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 Way It Is" is the earliest example of Ellison's writing which appears in "Shadow and Act." In what ways is it different from the other essays? Do you see the beginnings of Ellison's philosophy and understanding it? If no dates were show, do you think it would have been clear that this was an early work? Why or why not?
This section contains 995 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)