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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 2, what does Mailer say he has sworn not to do, because it will support continued fighting Vietnam?
2. The opening of the novel is taken from an article in which publication?
3. In Chapter 2, what does Mailer specifically not want done to him at the protest, should the police sweep in?
4. Who is emceeing when Mailer arrives to the theatre in Chapter 5?
5. Where do Lowell, Mailer, and Macdonald go after the card return in Chapter 4?
Short Essay Questions
1. What amusing interchange happens between Mailer and Lowell in this section?
2. How does Norman Mailer characterize his hangover in Chapter 2?
3. What appraisal of Robert Lowell does Mailer make in en route to the Department of Justice in Chapter 3?
4. What does Mailer pointedly note about the black delegates at the march in Chapter 3?
5. What is the plan for the Justice Department protest?
6. Describe Mailer's emceeing in Chapters 5 and 6?
7. What rationalization does Mailer give for taking his book from the hostess's house in Chapter 5?
8. Why does Mailer agree to join the Pentagon protest in Chapter 2?
9. Describe the interactions Mailer has with his fellow speakers at the party in Chapter 4.
10. What narrative is told by the Time Magazine article of Chapter 1?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Norman Mailer, the author of Armies of the Night, takes on several roles throughout the novel. He is protagonist, author, and historian at the same time. Write an essay about the interchange amongst these three Mailers, divided into three parts:
Part 1) Norman Mailer is the protagonist of the novel, but the narrator's relationship to him is not as intimate as one might expect. Explore how the point of view of the novel makes the character of Mailer as much object as subject. What aspects of the character does the narrator go to great pains to dissect? How does the he function as protagonist to the first book?
Part 2) Discuss the role of Mailer as narrator in the first book of the novel. What does his narration reflect about the author's personality and his relative level of sobriety? Would you say that Mailer the author is a reliable narrator? How does he react both to the events of the march and the actions of Mailer the character?
Part 3) Focus on Mailer's narration in the second book on the novel. He characterizes himself as a historian in this section. How is Mailer the narrator different from both Mailer the author and Mailer the character? Is his narration more or less reliable than it was in Book I? In what way do the two narrators meet at the beginning of Book II?
Essay Topic 2
Norman Mailer is a large, robust, arrogant personality. His placement at the center of most of the novel creates a powerful presence the reader must contend with. Write an essay about the divergent components of Mailer's personality. Begin by discussing his engorged id. How does Mailer revel in excess int he early passages of the novel? What is he trying to achieve? In the second half of the essay, discuss the emerging of Mailer's better angels. How does this reflect another side to Mailer, one that wants to show respect and graciousness? How is the novel as a whole a reflection of this desire?
Essay Topic 3
In speaking about the younger marchers who are verbally abused and often beaten and kept in jail for weeks, Mailer calls this protest at the Pentagon a rite of passage. Write an essay about the rites of passage inchoate in it. What individual actions must these young people undergo in this rite? Are they uniformly painful and traumatic? How so? In summation, discuss what these protesters intend to achieve through this rite. What are they accomplishing by undergoing these hardships?
This section contains 1,243 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)