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. What does Ellison believe writing is?

2. What distresses Ellison most about the essay "Black Boys and Native Sons?"

3. Why does Ellison begin the speech by referring to Ernest Hemingway?

4. How does Ellison describe the philosopher Kierkegaard in the "Stephen Crane.." essay?

5. Who is Richard Wright to Ellison?

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. What is the "hidden name" Ellison is referring in the title of his speech to the Library of Congress in 1064?

3. Where do Ellison and Hyman divide in their understanding of black face minstrel performance?

4. In "Richard Wright's blues" how does Ellison describe the blues?

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

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

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

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

9. What writers are at issue in the exchange between Irving Howe and Ralph Ellison?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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?

Essay Topic 2

In the four articles on musicians written for the Saturday Review, Ellison explores the development of each individual artist. What do Mahalia Jackson, Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian and Jimmy Rushing have in common? Why does Ellison choose both nationally famous and locally famous musicians to write about? How are the careers and styles of the four musicians different?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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