Shadow and Act Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Jimmy Rushing's instrument?

2. What race of people are allowed into Minton's?

3. Where does Charlie Parker die?

4. From what did Parker struggle to escape?

5. What do all American Negros share?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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