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 "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke" Ellison challenges Stanley Hyman's assertion the "smart man playing dumb" role is primarily Negro. What does Ellison propose is the true case? What examples does he use to argue that this "joke" is much broader than Negro culture? How does this understanding fit with the larger theme in Ellison's work of the relationship between Negro culture and American culture?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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