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. How many young men in Chapter 3 will go to the Department of Justice to represent those turning in their draft cards?

2. How does Mailer dismiss de Grazia from the stage to begin emceeing the night in Chapter 5?

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

4. On what day of the week is the march taking place?

5. Which of Mailer's books is he clinging onto at he enters the theatre in Chapter 5?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the MP's and the marchers have in common, according to Mailer in Chapter 6?

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

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

4. How does Mailer determine it is time to get arrested at the end of Chapter 5?

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

6. How does Dellinger go about planning the march in Chapters 2 and 3?

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

8. Describe the events of Saturday night in the Pentagon lot.

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

10. Describe the more extreme voices in the march planning as discussed in Chapter 5.

Essay 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

Throughout Armies of the Night, Mailer interrupts his own narrative to discuss the novel itself and his decisions regarding how to tell the story. Write an essay about these interruptions, their function in the writing, and their effect on the reader:

Part 1) How does Mailer explain his decision to halt the narrative after his arrest? What information does he go back in time to impart before continuing with the events of the march? Discuss what Mailer indicates himself about a writer by this self-referential interruptus. Is he merely indicating that he is an incorrigible trickster?

Part 2) In the final passages of Book I, Mailer interrupts the events in Occoquan to offer a treatise on America's involvement in Vietnam. Why is this passage significant in understanding the development of Mailer the character? To what extent does it illustrate character growth in the story?

Part 3) Discuss the interruption of narration at the beginning of Book II. What significant literary development is happening in the novel at this point, and why is Mailer choosing to halt the story to inform the reader? How does this interruptus serve to mark a complete tone shift in the novel?

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