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

2. What city is Mailer in at the end of this section?

3. Where is the bus in Chapter 4 taking Mailer and the other marchers?

4. How many marchers does the New York Times suggest will be at the Pentagon protest in Chapter 5?

5. Who arrives in in Chapter 4 as the protesters are forming ranks?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What permits does the Mobilization Committee get in Chapter 4?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Norman Mailer, throughout the novel, refers to himself and the other writers and organizers of the march as notables, indicating that they will get preferential treatment from authorities. Mailer makes clear in Armies of the Night that the notables have less at stake than the younger, less famous participants. Write an essay about the difference in consequences faced by the notables and the younger marchers, focusing on two groups. What pain does each group face? Why are the notables excepted from this risk? How do the younger groups face this danger with stoic resolve over the course of the novel?

Part 1) The young men who have turned over their draft cards.

Part 2) The marchers who remain camped in the Pentagon lot on Saturday evening.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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