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

2. What work of literature seizes Ellison's young mind early on?

3. What are Crane's parents like?

4. As a child what is Wright unable to distinguish between?

5. How does Ellison describe his relationship with Howe?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. As a child Ellison imagined himself as a "Renaissance man." What does that mean?

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

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

5. Why does Ellison say that the least form of segregation is the word?

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

7. Why does Ellison choose to write about Faulkner?

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

9. What is different about Oklahoma and the relationship of different races when compared to the South or even to Texas?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Race relations in America have long been a central focus of our culture. In the introduction Ellison prepares the reader to enter this discussion with him. What kind of invitation does he present? What is the emotional tone and feeling of the introduction? What does Ellison reveal about his own perspective on race? Why is it one of the themes of this book of his writing?

Essay Topic 3

Overall Ellison praises LeRoi Jones book "Blues People." However, there are elements of Jones' analysis of the blues which are not up to Ellison's high standards. What are the major criticisms he makes of Jones? How does he support his argument against the conclusions Jones comes to?

(see the answer keys)

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