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. In what month is the March held?

2. What does Mailer tell Fontain about his arrest in Chapter 1?

3. Which of the following is not an area that the attorney of Chapter 4 gets permission for protest activity?

4. What nationality is the "Nazi" who antagonizes Mailer in Chapter 2?

5. Which New York-based journalist is quoted at the end of Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What do the Fugs do at the Pentagon in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the novel, New York and Washington, DC, are distinctly juxtaposed where one is a place of planning and thought and the other place of action of danger. Write an essay about the juxtaposition of these two cities. Which character best typifies the aesthetic of New York, in your opinion? Which character best typifies DC? What is the significance of the fact that many of the notables spend Saturday attempting to get back to New York for a society party? What does it mean that Mailer soon forgets about this goal?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the consistent comparison of the marchers in the novel to a conventional army. Begin your discussion of this likening of two armies by focusing on Mailer's connection of the march to his tour of duty in World War II. What are the similarities he mentions? Where is the comparable glory and agony experienced by both groups? How do the marchers have to prove their courage and willingness to sacrifice for comrades? How does this affect the wording used in describing them?

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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