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. Where are the protest speakers going when they leave the part at the end of Chapter 4?

2. In Chapter 1, what is significant about Mailer's state at the time he is arrested?

3. Who speaks with Mitch Goodman at the Justice Department in Chapter 4?

4. Who begins the informal meeting in Chapter 3?

5. According to the article in Chapter 1, why is Norman Mailer arrested?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Mailer respond to William Sloane Coffin in Chapter 3?

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

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

4. Why does Mailer agree to join the Pentagon protest in Chapter 2?

5. Describe the performance space of this section.

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Norman Mailer is a large, robust, arrogant personality. His placement at the center of most of the novel creates a powerful presence the reader must contend with. Write an essay about the divergent components of Mailer's personality. Begin by discussing his engorged id. How does Mailer revel in excess int he early passages of the novel? What is he trying to achieve? In the second half of the essay, discuss the emerging of Mailer's better angels. How does this reflect another side to Mailer, one that wants to show respect and graciousness? How is the novel as a whole a reflection of this desire?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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