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 is the highest estimate given in Chapter 5 for the number of marchers who may attend?

2. From what era of literature does Mailer saying he is drawing a convention in the beginning of Chapter 1?

3. Counting his current one, how many wives has Mailer had?

4. To what does Mailer compare the MP's on the bus in Chapter 4?

5. In Chapter 5, what is Mailer's mind racing to figure out?

Short Essay Questions

1. What conclusion does Mailer draw from two articles at the end of Chapter 6?

2. Describe the several movements the arrested marchers have to make in this section?

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

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

5. How does Dick Fontaine figure into the events of this section?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The character of Norman Mailer begins Armies of the Night with an ambivalent attitude toward the conflict in Vietnam. As the novel continues, his opinions regarding the war are codified by what he sees in Washington, DC. Write an essay about this codification in three parts:

Part 1) Norman Mailer is unsure of what he thinks about Vietnam protesting when Mitch Goodman calls him in Chapter 2. Why does he agree to go to Washington for the march? Is it at all connected to political realities of the time? How does his behavior at the Ambassador reflect his attitude toward the movement?

Part 2) What does Mailer experience on Friday and Saturday at the Justice Department, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Pentagon? Discuss how this experience makes him remember his time in combat. How does this experience begin to alter his feelings about the anti-war movement?

Part 3) Describe what Mailer's feelings toward the war in Vietnam have become when his is awaiting processing after having been arrested. What has he realized about those who oppose the conflict? What does he think is driving America's continued involvement in the conflict?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Write an essay about the novel's placement as a work of narrative non-fiction. How is the friction between the literary qualities of the novel and its documentary qualities central to the work's aesthetic? What steps does Norman Mailer take to ensure that Armies of the Night is a work of literary bravado? How does he then undermine these literary conventions by pointedly choosing to invoke a historical tone in the latter passages? What sort of dynamic does this create for the reader?

(see the answer keys)

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