The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History Test | Lesson Plans Final Test - Hard

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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. How many days in jail is Mailer sentenced to in Chapter 9?

3. Which of Mailer's writer friends is present in the Volkswagen with him in Chapter 2?

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

5. From what neighborhood in New York are the acquaintances Mailer encounters in Occaquan?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the novel Armies of the Night, Norman Mailer makes reference to other source materials. These offer the reader another vantage for the events of October, 1967. Write an essay about these source materials, focusing on two uses in the novel:

Part 1) The novel begins with a an assessment of Norma Mailer's involvement in the march on the Pentagon in Time Magazine. What does this article have to say about Mailer? How, in essence, does it provide a counterpoint for what follows in the rest of the novel? To what extent does this article both inspire Mailer to write the novel and serve as a destination of sorts for him? Why is Mailer so dedicated to responding to the article?

Part 2) The second book of the novel is full of quotes and references to other publications. Discuss several of these publications and their role in Book II. How does their inclusion reflect a different sort of narration from the narration in Book I? Is Mailer attempting to cite them as corroboration or refute them as he does the Time Magazine story?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

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