The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History Test | Final 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. What nationality is the "Nazi" who antagonizes Mailer in Chapter 2?

2. How does Mailer plead at his lawyer's suggestion?

3. In Chapter 4, to what does Mailer compare the people on the bus?

4. About what do the arrested marchers speculate at the beginning of Chapter 6?

5. Why did march planning committee visit the Pentagon numerous times before the march?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What metaphor does Mailer draw to the Pentagon in Chapter 4?

3. What comic episode happens when Mailer is getting changed for his arraignment in Chapter 8?

4. What train of people following the the march in Chapter 4?

5. What bad news greets Mailer when he returns to New York in Chapter 11?

6. How is the crowd becoming unruly in Chapter 4?

7. Describe Norman Mailer's arrest in Chapter 6?

8. How does Mailer fair in court in Chapter 9?

9. Describe the mood of the crown in the beginning of Chapter 4.

10. Why is the Vietnam War fought, according to Mailer in Chapter 7?

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 an arrogant, hard-living, patently cynical person, but he cares passionately about what others think of him. When he sees someone who is more respected or more famous, Mailer is stricken with a combination of fascination and maddened jealousy. Write an essay about three such individuals. How does the narrative juxtapose these people with the character of Mailer? How does he react to them? Do they inspire anger, respect, or some combination of both in him?

Part 1) Robert Lowell

Part 2) William Sloane Coffin

Part 3) Noam Chomsky

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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