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. From what era of literature does Mailer saying he is drawing a convention in the beginning of Chapter 1?

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

3. What is happening to Mailer at the end of Chapter 6?

4. In Chapter 3, what city does the Steering Committee meet in?

5. Counting his current one, how many wives has Mailer had?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What fracas does Mailer get into in Chapter 2?

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

4. How does Mailer determine it is time to get arrested at the end of Chapter 5?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 the novel, New York and Washington, DC, are distinctly juxtaposed where one is a place of planning and thought and the other place of action of danger. Write an essay about the juxtaposition of these two cities. Which character best typifies the aesthetic of New York, in your opinion? Which character best typifies DC? What is the significance of the fact that many of the notables spend Saturday attempting to get back to New York for a society party? What does it mean that Mailer soon forgets about this goal?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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