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. What word does Mailer use to describe supporters of the ear in Chapter 7?

3. Who in Chapter 5, is completely enthralled by the band's activities?

4. What does Mailer begin working on in Occaquan in Chapter 7?

5. Who paid the $65,000 required to fund the march?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What do the MP's and the marchers have in common, according to Mailer in Chapter 6?

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

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

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

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

10. What bad news greets Mailer when he returns to New York in Chapter 11?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In Armies of the Night, Norman Mailer regularly invokes the history of the United States while he tells the story of the Pentagon March. Write an essay about Mailer's desire to present the March as a link in the development of America's social and political infrastructure, choosing three instances from the novel in which he invokes America's collective past. How does he bring up the past in these instances? What do they have to do with the current events involving the March? What specific point does the author seem to be making in this comparison?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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