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. Which character introduced in this section has been arrested 9 times at protests?

2. What state is the MP from?

3. How is Mailer certain the MP in Chapter 6 is not going to hit him?

4. Which of the following militant groups chooses to sit and hold their ground at the March?

5. In Chapter 3, what city does the Steering Committee meet in?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In the detain room in Chapter 3, what strikes Mailer about the people around him?

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

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

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

6. What reasons does Mailer list in Chapter 7 for people to be against the war?

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

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

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

10. How does the tone of the novel shift dramatically at the beginning of Book II?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

A good portion of the opening passages of Armies of the Night are as much about the niceties and snipes of the literary class in 1960's America as the protest culture of the same. Write an essay about Mailer's place and opinions in the world of prolific writers in the novel, focusing on three instances:

Part 1) Why does Mailer agree to come to the Pentagon march in Washington, DC? Discuss how this decision is more connected to his literary position in New York than his opinions on the Vietnam War? What does Mailer want to achieve through his involvement in the protest?

Part 2) Discuss the party held the first evening Mailer is in Washington, DC. What decisions does he make about the way that he treats the hostess? What is the reason for the awkward encounter Mailer has with Dwight Macdonald?

Part 3) Mailer enters the Ambassador presentation like a wrecking ball, attempting to destroy everyone around him. Discuss his reasons for doing this. What does he resent about those on the stage? How does Mailer want to be perceived by the audience? How does the popular reaction to his antics temper his behavior for the remainder of the weekend?

(see the answer keys)

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