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

2. In Chapter 1, Mailer claims that America's New Left is drawing its political aesthetic from what country?

3. In Chapter 1, how long does Mailer suggest it will take to accurately understand the value of the March?

4. What is the central action of the protest Mailer is invited to in Chapter 2?

5. Which of the following writers is not speaking at the protest?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is Mailer's attitude toward protest at the beginning of the novel?

4. Describe Norman Mailer as a character.

5. What reasoning does Mailer give for placing himself at the center of the narrative of the novel in Chapter 1?

6. What state is Mailer in when he leaves the party in Chapter 4?

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

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

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

10. Why are Mailer, Macdonald, and Lowell ambivalent about getting arrested in Chapter 1?

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 use of stream-of-consciousness and free association in the narration of Armies of the Night. When are these modernist tools used most prevalently? To what extent do they appear when Mailer the character is swept up in some phenomenal experience? What does this style of narration say about Norman Mailer's state of mind? In the second half of the essay, discuss what Mailer most frequently associates toward. What does this say about his goals as an author in writing this novel?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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