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 6, how does the audience respond to Mailer's profane tirade?

2. Who begins the informal meeting in Chapter 3?

3. What phrase does Mailer use to stand in for any sort of improvised speech?

4. What strain of sociopolitical thinking does Mailer chart through America in a speech in Chapter 1?

5. Who performs first in the event of Chapter 5?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In the detain room in Chapter 3, what strikes Mailer about the people around him?

3. What rationalization does Mailer give for taking his book from the hostess's house in Chapter 5?

4. How is the crowd becoming unruly in Chapter 4?

5. What metaphor does Mailer use in Chapter 5 to describe the Vietnam controvery in America and who takes what sides?

6. How does Mailer fair in court in Chapter 9?

7. Describe the performance space of this section.

8. What does Mailer find at the church in Chapter 3?

9. Describe the mood of the crown in the beginning of Chapter 4.

10. What fracas does Mailer get into in Chapter 2?

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

Norman Mailer, throughout the novel, refers to himself and the other writers and organizers of the march as notables, indicating that they will get preferential treatment from authorities. Mailer makes clear in Armies of the Night that the notables have less at stake than the younger, less famous participants. Write an essay about the difference in consequences faced by the notables and the younger marchers, focusing on two groups. What pain does each group face? Why are the notables excepted from this risk? How do the younger groups face this danger with stoic resolve over the course of the novel?

Part 1) The young men who have turned over their draft cards.

Part 2) The marchers who remain camped in the Pentagon lot on Saturday evening.

Essay Topic 3

More than midway through the novel, Mailer suddenly goes back in time and explains the planning of the March, events which he was not present for. Write an essay about the planning of the March, discussing which individuals and groups shaped it. What were the divergent opinions in terms of the locations and tactics of the March, and which one's won out in the end? Discuss individuals and groups who fell into conflict, why they did so, and how this affected the development of a strategy. In summation, determine whether the March had a coherent and unified planning process.

(see the answer keys)

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