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 is the origin of the essay "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke?"

2. Where does Ellison give the public address "Hidden Name and Complex Fate?"

3. What does Ellison praise about "Primer for White Folks?"

4. What writers does Ellison wish had been included in the "Primer for White Folks"?

5. What is the "Hidden Name" referred to in the title of Ellison's speech?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where is the Lefargue Psychiatric Clinic located?

2. What is the film "Intruder in the Dust" about?

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 compare Wright's personal journey of blooming to?

5. What does Ellison understand the term "Negro culture" to mean?

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

7. How did a library for Negro persons emerge in Oklahoma City?

8. What is Ellison's basic quarrel with Hyman?

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

10. What is the common image of the Negro in contemporary literature according to Ellison?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

"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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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