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. Which famous black leader's sister speaks in Chapter 3?

2. According to mailer in Chapter 1, which of the following qualities is definitely not necessary in a protagonist for the story of the March?

3. In Chapter 2, to whom does Mailer state he holds final allegiance?

4. What did the performance space in this section used to be used for?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Mailer late to emcee the event in Chapter 5?

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

3. How does Norman Mailer characterize his hangover in Chapter 2?

4. How does Mailer characterize the march to the Washington Monument in Chapter 2?

5. How is Robert Lowell received by the audience?

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

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

8. How do Ed de Grazia and Mailer scuffle in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the novel's placement as a work of narrative non-fiction. How is the friction between the literary qualities of the novel and its documentary qualities central to the work's aesthetic? What steps does Norman Mailer take to ensure that Armies of the Night is a work of literary bravado? How does he then undermine these literary conventions by pointedly choosing to invoke a historical tone in the latter passages? What sort of dynamic does this create for the reader?

(see the answer keys)

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