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. In Chapter 1 of Book II, to whom does the "writer" pass the baton?

2. Which of the following militant groups chooses to sit and hold their ground at the March?

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

4. In Chapter 5, what is Mailer's assessment of the mistake the Revolutionary Contingent made during the march?

5. Which of the following is not something Mailer describes as the march begins in Chapter 4?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The character of Norman Mailer begins Armies of the Night with an ambivalent attitude toward the conflict in Vietnam. As the novel continues, his opinions regarding the war are codified by what he sees in Washington, DC. Write an essay about this codification in three parts:

Part 1) Norman Mailer is unsure of what he thinks about Vietnam protesting when Mitch Goodman calls him in Chapter 2. Why does he agree to go to Washington for the march? Is it at all connected to political realities of the time? How does his behavior at the Ambassador reflect his attitude toward the movement?

Part 2) What does Mailer experience on Friday and Saturday at the Justice Department, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Pentagon? Discuss how this experience makes him remember his time in combat. How does this experience begin to alter his feelings about the anti-war movement?

Part 3) Describe what Mailer's feelings toward the war in Vietnam have become when his is awaiting processing after having been arrested. What has he realized about those who oppose the conflict? What does he think is driving America's continued involvement in the conflict?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the consistent comparison of the marchers in the novel to a conventional army. Begin your discussion of this likening of two armies by focusing on Mailer's connection of the march to his tour of duty in World War II. What are the similarities he mentions? Where is the comparable glory and agony experienced by both groups? How do the marchers have to prove their courage and willingness to sacrifice for comrades? How does this affect the wording used in describing them?

(see the answer keys)

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