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

2. How does Mailer plead at his lawyer's suggestion?

3. About what do the arrested marchers speculate at the beginning of Chapter 6?

4. Which writer does Mailer think he is a stand-in for the young people in Chapter 7?

5. What does one of the older gentlemen tell a young black man who gets overly angry in Chapter 4?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Describe the scene in Occaquan at the beginning of Chapter 6.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

More than midway through the novel, Mailer suddenly goes back in time and explains the planning of the March, events which he was not present for. Write an essay about the planning of the March, discussing which individuals and groups shaped it. What were the divergent opinions in terms of the locations and tactics of the March, and which one's won out in the end? Discuss individuals and groups who fell into conflict, why they did so, and how this affected the development of a strategy. In summation, determine whether the March had a coherent and unified planning process.

Essay Topic 2

Near the end of the second book, Mailer enumerates the reasons why some people oppose the war in Vietnam. Write an essay about this logic, focusing on three of the groups he mentions. Do you think their reasoning in sound? What organizations and individuals represent this group in the narrative? Are there modern parallels to this group in today's society?

Part 1) Those who want Asia and, eventually, America to turn Communist.

Part 2) Those who are pacifists.

Part 3) Those who think the war is unjust.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the protest culture that exists in the world of the novel. How does this culture affect the way famous people live their lives: in particular, how does the omnipresence of protest in America affect Mailer's decision to go to Washington, DC? How does the specter of the Martin Luther King, Jr. march on Washington hang over the events of the 1967 March in the novel? To what extent is the protest movement becoming somewhat rote in Armies of the Night?

(see the answer keys)

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