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

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

3. What is Dick Fontaine doing at the march in Chapter 1?

4. What sources are reviewed through much of Chapter 5?

5. How does Mailer respond to the band's ritual in Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. How does Mailer think about his family in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Mailer's novel is a powerfully eloquent evocation of the pain, passion, and hard realities surrounding the 1967 March on the Pentagon, but it is peppered with instances of his being unable to adequately express his feelings about America, protest and the war. Write an essay, detailing three instances in which Mailer is fantastically ineffective in explaining himself to crowds or the press? How does he explaining this iniquity? What does he feel when he soberly understands media reaction to his words? Sum up the essay with a discussion of how the novel Armies of the Night is, in part, his attempt to right these failures.

(see the answer keys)

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