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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. Who is Mailer's lawyer in Chapter 9?
3. Which New York-based journalist is quoted at the end of Chapter 6?
4. How does Mailer describe the MP's face at the end of Chapter 1?
5. From what era of literature does Mailer saying he is drawing a convention in the beginning of Chapter 1?
Short Essay Questions
1. Describe the more extreme voices in the march planning as discussed in Chapter 5.
2. What train of people following the the march in Chapter 4?
3. What bad news greets Mailer when he returns to New York in Chapter 11?
4. How does the tone of the novel shift dramatically at the beginning of Book II?
5. What do the Fugs do at the Pentagon in Chapter 5?
6. What comic episode happens when Mailer is getting changed for his arraignment in Chapter 8?
7. How does Dellinger go about planning the march in Chapters 2 and 3?
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. What do the MP's and the marchers have in common, according to Mailer in Chapter 6?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 2
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 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?
This section contains 1,055 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)