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. To what ancient monument does Mailer compare the Pentagon in Chapter 4?

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

3. At the beginning of Chapter 4, how long has the crown been waiting to march?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norman Mailer is an arrogant, hard-living, patently cynical person, but he cares passionately about what others think of him. When he sees someone who is more respected or more famous, Mailer is stricken with a combination of fascination and maddened jealousy. Write an essay about three such individuals. How does the narrative juxtapose these people with the character of Mailer? How does he react to them? Do they inspire anger, respect, or some combination of both in him?

Part 1) Robert Lowell

Part 2) William Sloane Coffin

Part 3) Noam Chomsky

Essay Topic 3

Norman Mailer, throughout the novel, refers to himself and the other writers and organizers of the march as notables, indicating that they will get preferential treatment from authorities. Mailer makes clear in Armies of the Night that the notables have less at stake than the younger, less famous participants. Write an essay about the difference in consequences faced by the notables and the younger marchers, focusing on two groups. What pain does each group face? Why are the notables excepted from this risk? How do the younger groups face this danger with stoic resolve over the course of the novel?

Part 1) The young men who have turned over their draft cards.

Part 2) The marchers who remain camped in the Pentagon lot on Saturday evening.

(see the answer keys)

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