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. What instrument does Henry Minton play?

2. Why does "Invisible Man" take so long to complete?

3. What establishment is to the right of Ellison?

4. Why are slaves able to express themselves in art?

5. Who interviews Ellison in "The Art of Fiction?"

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Who does the song "They picked poor robin clean" remind Ellison of?

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

5. Who is LeRoi Jones?

6. What does the mural above the bandstand at Minton's depict?

7. Where is the Lefargue Psychiatric Clinic located?

8. Why does Ellison disagree with Jones when he says "A slave cannot be a man"?

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

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

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

In "Hidden Name and Complex Fate" Ellison reveals that it was his father, who died when Ellison was three years old, who chose for him the name of a famous white poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and in doing so cast upon him a complex fate. What was that fate and how did it slowly reveal itself through Ellison's life? Why was it such a struggle to come to peace with? Why was it such a blessing and a curse?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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