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 the following is not something Mailer describes as the march begins in Chapter 4?

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

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

4. After a term in which of Mailer's books has the band named itself?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What permits does the Mobilization Committee get in Chapter 4?

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

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

What is the role of notables like Lowell, Mailer, and Macdonald? Write an essay about the role of celebrity in the protest. Why does Mitch Goodman go about convincing Mailer to join the protest, knowing his personal feelings and tendency toward wild behavior? In the latter half of the essay, discuss how the notables actually fare in the March. What do they do to show support for those who face beatings and litigation?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout Armies of the Night, Mailer interrupts his own narrative to discuss the novel itself and his decisions regarding how to tell the story. Write an essay about these interruptions, their function in the writing, and their effect on the reader:

Part 1) How does Mailer explain his decision to halt the narrative after his arrest? What information does he go back in time to impart before continuing with the events of the march? Discuss what Mailer indicates himself about a writer by this self-referential interruptus. Is he merely indicating that he is an incorrigible trickster?

Part 2) In the final passages of Book I, Mailer interrupts the events in Occoquan to offer a treatise on America's involvement in Vietnam. Why is this passage significant in understanding the development of Mailer the character? To what extent does it illustrate character growth in the story?

Part 3) Discuss the interruption of narration at the beginning of Book II. What significant literary development is happening in the novel at this point, and why is Mailer choosing to halt the story to inform the reader? How does this interruptus serve to mark a complete tone shift in the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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