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. Who is Stanley Edgar Hyman?

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

3. How does Ellison describe the writer Malraux?

4. Who names Ellison?

5. What does the phrase "beating that boy" mean?

Short Essay Questions

1. Did Richard Wright influence Baldwin or Ellison?

2. Who was it that suggested to Ellison that he review a book and write a short story?

3. What were some of the catastrophic events which occurred in Wright's life?

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

5. What does the phrase "beating that boy" refer to?

6. Though "Black Boy" presents a brutal and violent world, what else does it manage to convey about the young Wright?

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

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

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

10. What does Ellison find so remarkable about Crane?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The final essay in the book was never published. It is a book review of the Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal who was brought in by the Carnegie Foundation to study the "Negro problem." What is Ellison's primary reaction to the book? What is positive in Myrdal's assessment? What does Ellison object to? Why do you think the review was never published?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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