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 Mrs. L.C. McFarland?

2. Where and when is the essay "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke" published?

3. What is Ellison's original choice of career?

4. What are the three major section of the "Primer for White Folks?"

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Did Richard Wright influence Baldwin or Ellison?

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

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

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

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

8. What does Ellison find so remarkable about Crane?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does Ellison choose "The Shadow and the Act" as the title of the entire book? What is the theme which this film review contains that Ellison finds suitable to place the entire set of writings within? What framework does this title provide for the other essays, articles, speeches, interviews and stories?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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