Shadow and Act Test | Final 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. Where is Minton's located?

2. What do the blues capture?

3. What establishment is to the right of Ellison?

4. What childhood memory does Ellison draw on to deal with his artistic nemesis?

5. What instrument does Henry Minton play?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Ellison say is the invisible man's discovery?

2. Who is Mahalia Jackson?

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

4. Who is LeRoi Jones?

5. In the Paris Review (Spring 1955) Ellison was interviewed about his work as a writer. What does he say his first piece of professional writing was?

6. When asked when he began "Invisible Man" what does Ellison answer?

7. What place does "Living with Music" describe?

8. What does Ellison believe is the primary American theme in both life and literature?

9. Where is "Minton's Playhouse" located?

10. What does Ellison say about a Negro President?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic is profiled with a sense of gratitude and anger. What is Ellison angry about and why? As much as he admires the clinic, why does he feel it should not be necessary? What is at the source of mental suffering for many persons in the Harlem community?

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

In the film review "The Shadow and the Act" Ellison criticizes Hollywood's portrayal of Negro Americans as "Shadow," by which he means illusion. The act refers to reality, what truly is, which Hollywood shows little interest in revealing. Describe Ellison's theory and show how he uses the example of film to reveal what is for him an overall American habit of focusing on illusion rather than reality.

(see the answer keys)

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