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 character introduced in this section has been arrested 9 times at protests?

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

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

4. What does Mailer tell Fontain about his arrest in Chapter 1?

5. Which New York-based journalist is quoted at the end of Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How is the crowd becoming unruly in Chapter 4?

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

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

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

7. Describe the several movements the arrested marchers have to make in this section?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In speaking about the younger marchers who are verbally abused and often beaten and kept in jail for weeks, Mailer calls this protest at the Pentagon a rite of passage. Write an essay about the rites of passage inchoate in it. What individual actions must these young people undergo in this rite? Are they uniformly painful and traumatic? How so? In summation, discuss what these protesters intend to achieve through this rite. What are they accomplishing by undergoing these hardships?

Essay Topic 2

Mailer the narrator and historian makes a point of arguing that both the MP's and the marchers are saddened by the violence evoked by the protest. Write an essay analyzing the way Mailer dramatizes the events, giving even-handed account of both sides of the police line. What examples does he give of sensitive and professional MP's? How does he explain the logic behind their brutality and their shame at having committed it? Conversely, how is the violence legally unjustified? How does it result in terror and wild paranoia among the marchers? Is that its intent?

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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