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 is Jimmy Rushing's instrument?

2. What is Charlie Parker's nickname?

3. What is Mrs. Jackson cooking in "The Way It Is?"

4. What is the "Act" Ellison refers to in the title of both the essay and the book?

5. What is unique about "The Way It Is" compared to the other essays?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What captures the attention of many critics about "Blues People."

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

7. Who is LeRoi Jones?

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

9. How does the early film "Birth of the Nation" portray Negro persons?

10. Who is Mahalia Jackson?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In "Living with Music" Ellison literally finds himself overwhelmed by the group of people who live around him. His struggle to find his own peace within a larger and very noisy society is a metaphor for the way he sees the individual constantly struggling against the group in life. How does he find peace? What method does he use to carve out his space and literally "be heard?"

Essay Topic 3

In "Some Questions and Some Answers" Ellison makes the provocative statement that there is no Negro culture. What does he mean by this? How does he support his argument? What history does he draw upon to reveal his thinking on this matter?

(see the answer keys)

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