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. At which hotel is Mailer staying?

2. What is Mailer's primary complaint about the performance space?

3. Which social or literary figure calls Mailer in Chapter 2?

4. What does Mailer recall as he walks toward the Washington Monument in Chapter 2?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What concerns Goodman about the protest planning in Chapter 3?

3. Describe Norman Mailer as a character.

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

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

6. What does Mailer pointedly note about the black delegates at the march in Chapter 3?

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

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

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

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

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

In Armies of the Night, Norman Mailer regularly invokes the history of the United States while he tells the story of the Pentagon March. Write an essay about Mailer's desire to present the March as a link in the development of America's social and political infrastructure, choosing three instances from the novel in which he invokes America's collective past. How does he bring up the past in these instances? What do they have to do with the current events involving the March? What specific point does the author seem to be making in this comparison?

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?

(see the answer keys)

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