The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History 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. In Chapter 1, who does Mailer get into a cloyingly complimentary conversation?

2. How many draft cards are turned in at Justice in Chapter 4?

3. In Chapter 1, what is significant about Mailer's state at the time he is arrested?

4. What vulgar story does Mailer tell the assembled audience in Chapter 6?

5. Who is entertaining the audience when the speakers arrive?

Short Essay Questions

1. What narrative is told by the Time Magazine article of Chapter 1?

2. How is Mailer received after Lowell in Chapter 6?

3. How does Mailer respond to William Sloane Coffin in Chapter 3?

4. What happens once the group arrives at the Justice Department in Chapter 4?

5. What does Mailer feel about left-wing splinter groups' names in Chapter 3?

6. How is Robert Lowell received by the audience?

7. Why does Mailer state he does not have a good instinct for speeches at protests?

8. What is the plan for the Justice Department protest?

9. Describe Mailer's emceeing in Chapters 5 and 6?

10. Why is Dwight Macdonald livid about the newspaper coverage of the Ambassador event in Chapter 3?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the role of notables like Lowell, Mailer, and Macdonald? Write an essay about the role of celebrity in the protest. Why does Mitch Goodman go about convincing Mailer to join the protest, knowing his personal feelings and tendency toward wild behavior? In the latter half of the essay, discuss how the notables actually fare in the March. What do they do to show support for those who face beatings and litigation?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the protest culture that exists in the world of the novel. How does this culture affect the way famous people live their lives: in particular, how does the omnipresence of protest in America affect Mailer's decision to go to Washington, DC? How does the specter of the Martin Luther King, Jr. march on Washington hang over the events of the 1967 March in the novel? To what extent is the protest movement becoming somewhat rote in Armies of the Night?

Essay Topic 3

Mailer's novel is a powerfully eloquent evocation of the pain, passion, and hard realities surrounding the 1967 March on the Pentagon, but it is peppered with instances of his being unable to adequately express his feelings about America, protest and the war. Write an essay, detailing three instances in which Mailer is fantastically ineffective in explaining himself to crowds or the press? How does he explaining this iniquity? What does he feel when he soberly understands media reaction to his words? Sum up the essay with a discussion of how the novel Armies of the Night is, in part, his attempt to right these failures.

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