Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison Multiple Choice



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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Multiple Choice: For each question, place the letter of the best answer in the space provided.
1. The “battle royal” where the black boys are made to fight with each other symbolizes


  1. the backwardness of southern blacks as compared with Northern blacks

  2. the way whites manipulate blacks by turning them against one another.

  3. the way things were in small southern towns 50 years ago

  4. the ancient African rituals for selecting a tribal chief

2. The narrator gets his identity in the first quarter of the novel by following the model of



  1. the founder and Dr. Bledsoe

  2. his grandfather and Jim Trueblood

  3. Tod Clifton and Ras the Exhorter

  4. Mr. Norton and Mr. Emerson

3. Mr. Norton’s heart attack is brought on by



  1. the narrator’s driving

  2. excessive drinking

  3. feelings of grief over his daughter’s death

  4. the shock of Jim Trueblood’s story




  1. The veteran berates, or attacks, the narrator’s

  1. manners

  2. appearance

  3. speaking skill

  4. ignorance

5. In light of the content of his speech, Reverend Barbee’s blindness is an example of



  1. irony

  2. allegory

  3. tone

  4. atmosphere



6. The narrator is expelled from college because he

  1. behaved improperly with a white man

  2. exposed aspects of black life Dr. Bledsoe wanted to keep hidden

  3. caused expensive damage in the Golden Day

  4. was guilty of insubordination with Mr. Norton

7. The letters of recommendation that Dr. Bledsoe gives to the narrator really say



  1. “Keep This Nigger-Boy Running”

  2. “After the Struggle: The Rainbow of America’s Future”

  3. “Blacks and Whites Can Become One”

  4. “Separate But Equal Is Best”

8. The narrator’s encounter on the street with Peter Wheatstraw



  1. suggests the importance of forgetting the past

  2. provides him with a new job and place to live

  3. reminds him that his southern folk heritage is part of his identity

  4. reinforce the hopelessness of the black situation in New York

9. The narrator’s experience at Liberty Paints suggests that



  1. black labor was the foundation for America’s industrial strength

  2. whites use blacks to enhance their own superiority

  3. American businesses were opposed to unionization

  4. the narrator ought to work for a company owned by black people

10. Mary Rambo’s iron minstrel bank, which the narrator breaks, symbolizes



  1. the Southern ways he cannot escape

  2. wealth

  3. his need for a home

  4. the Brotherhood’s philosophy

11. The Brotherhood represents



  1. white “do-gooders”

  2. the Communist Party

  3. prototype for the Black Panthers

  4. the brotherhood of man

12. Brother Jack’s character is symbolized by his



  1. leg shackle

  2. glass eye

  3. limp

  4. business suit

13. The member of the Brotherhood most faithful to the narrator and his work in Harlem is


  1. Brother Wrestrum

  2. Brother Tobitt

  3. Brother Tarp

  4. Brother Hambro

14. The Brotherhood is opposed to the narrator’s emotional and personal style of speaking because



  1. they are afraid the crowds will get out of control

  2. it does not reflect their scientific, rational philosophy

  3. it makes the other speakers look bad

  4. it reveals the narrator’s lack of education

15. Ras the Exhorter’s ultimate goal is to



  1. to make blacks and whites equals

  2. have all blacks return to the South

  3. take control of the Brotherhood

  4. keep blacks and whites totally separate

16. Ras the Exhorter argues that Tod Clifton and the narrator have



  1. nothing in common

  2. no real followers

  3. strengthened the black nationalist organization

  4. betrayed their race by allying themselves with whites

17. The dancing Sambo dolls being sold by Tod Clifton symbolize



  1. a positive ethnic stereotype

  2. black people’s disregard for white people’s values

  3. the good humor and comic nature of American blacks

  4. black people’s traditional subservience to white people

18. The death of Tod Clifton is



  1. totally the fault of white society

  2. triggered by the Invisible Man’s “Dispossession” speech

  3. secretly brought about by the Brotherhood

  4. in part the result of Tod’s own despair and disillusion

19. The identity of Rinehart


  1. gives the narrator the opportunity to make major reforms in the Brotherhood


  2. allows the narrator to undermine Ras the Exhorter

  3. allows the narrator to survive in a world of chaos and confusion

  4. shows the narrator a way to become visible at last

20. The narrator hopes to use Sybil



  1. as a decoy

  2. as a spy on the Brotherhood

  3. to destroy her husband

  4. as a partner to recapture Harlem support

21. The turning point at the center of the novel is the narrator’s



  1. witnessing of an eviction of two old people

  2. decision that he has made a mistake in coming north

  3. decision to move from Men’s House to Mary Rambo’s

  4. death and rebirth in the hospital

22. The narrator flees into a deserted coal cellar where he



  1. plans to work to alleviate racism

  2. is castrated by Ras the Destroyer

  3. tries to think through the things in his life that got him there

  4. plots revenge against Bledsoe, Norton, and the Brotherhood

23. The decision of the narrator to leave his cave at the end of the novel symbolizes



  1. his failure to learn anything from his experiences

  2. the end of contemplation and the beginning of action

  3. his compromises in order to survive in life

  4. his decision to return to college and try harder to succeed

24. The character of the protagonist is such that he might be described as a



  1. reliable narrator

  2. naïve narrator

  3. prejudiced narrator

  4. objective narrator

25. Ellison’s style in the novel

  1. moves from realism to expressionism to surrealism


  2. moves from surrealism to realism

  3. is predominantly realistic throughout the novel

  4. is reminiscent of nineteenth-century fiction


Matching: Match the following items.
_____ 26. food that IM associated with childhood poverty A. cabbage

_____ 27. food that IM associated with freedom B. pork chops

_____ 28. food IM wanted to see Bledsoe eating C. yams

_____ 29. food IM resisted as “an act of discipline,” showing his experience D. cheese cake

_____ 30. food IM had never heard of or tried E. chitterlings
_____ 31. wants to be Huck Finn A. Invisible Man

_____ 32. wants to be the new Booker T. Washington B. Tod Clifton

_____ 33. is called a Brutus, or traitor to the Brotherhood C. Young Emerson

_____ 34. wins the “Battle Royale” D. Tatlock

_____ 35. is wounded in the jaw E. Ras the Exhorter
_____ 36. refused to laugh at the clowns A. Bledsoe

_____ 37. freed slave, with manumission papers B. Primus Provo

_____ 38. IM’s college professor C. Woodridge

_____ 39. loses his false teeth D. Brockway

_____ 40. nicknamed “Old Bucket-head” E. IM’s grandfather

_____ 41. advises IM to read Emerson A. Peter Wheatstraw

_____ 42. advises IM to be “his own father” B. Norton

_____ 43. offers to teach IM “some good bad habits” C. Burnside

_____ 44. warns IM about going too fast in the Brotherhood D. Brother Tarp

_____ 45. gives IM his good luck “charm” E. Brother Jack

_____ 46. bar frequented by the Brotherhood A. Club Calamus

_____ 47. Rinehart’s church B. El Toro

_____ 48. Harlem hotel for young men “on the way up” C. Rabb Hall

_____ 49. men’s college dormitory D. Men’s House

_____ 50. gay nightclub E. Holy Way Station
_____ 51. IM’s graduation gift after the smoker A. Sunglasses

_____ 52. clothing worn by the “fraternity of hipsters” B. Mannequins

_____ 53. clothing IM associated with contempt and failure C. Zoot suit

_____ 54. hanging from the trees during the riot D. Overalls

_____ 55. IM uses to assume Rinehart’s identity E. Briefcase
_____ 56. poster that Brother Tarp gives IM A. Frederic Douglass

_____ 57. painting in apartment where IM gets seduced B. a single rose

_____ 58. painting in Brotherhood bar C. Renior nude

_____ 59. poster featuring Tod Clifton D. rainbow

_____ 60. associated with the Founder’s grave E. bullfighting

Speaker Identification: Identify the speaker of each of the following quotations from the book.
A. Superintendent B. Grandfather C. Young Emerson D. Mr. Norton E. Homer Barbee
61. “Son, after I’m gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I have never told you, but our life is a war….Live with your head in the lion’s mouth.”

62. “Bring up the shines, gentlemen! Bring up the little shines!”

63. “I had a feeling that your people were somehow connected with my destiny. That what

happened to you was connected with what would happen to me…”


64. “You have the build,” he said, looking me up and down. “You’d probably make an excellent

runner, a sprinter.”


65. “I remembered the start of the train, how it seemed to groan as it started up the steep

grade into the mountain…When the train reached the summit of the mountain, he was

no longer with us.”
A. Bledsoe B. Brockway C. Burnside D. Trueblood E. Wheatstraw
66. “I was just like a jaybird that the yellow jackets done stung ‘til he’s paralyzed – but still alive

in his eyes and he’s watchin’ ‘em sting his body to death.”


67. “To you he is a mark on the score-card of your achievement, a thing and not a man; a child, or

even less – a black amorphous thing. And you, for all your power, are not a man to him, but a

god, a force.”
68. “Boy, you are a fool …Your white folk didn’t teach you anything and your mother-wit

has left you cold.”


69. “ I’m a seventh son of a seventh son bawn with a caul over both eyes and raised on black

catbones highjohn the conqueror and greasy greens –”


70. “They got all this machinery, but that ain’t everything; we the machines inside the

machine .”
A. Mary Rambo B. Sybil C. Emma D. Hubert’s Wife E. Mrs. Provo
71. “They can come in you home and do what thewy want to you. Just come stomping and jerk your

life up by the roots! But this here’s the last straw. They ain’t going to bother with my Bible!”


72. “It’s you young folks what’s going to make the changes. Y’all’s the ones. You got to lead

and you got to fight and move us all up a little higher.”

73. “You can do it. It’ll be easy for you, beautiful. Threaten to kill me if I don’t give in. You

know, talk rough to me, beautiful.”

74. “Nonsense, they chew them up and spit them out. Their leaders are made, not born. Then

they’re destrpyed. Tell me, where did you find this young hero of the people?”


75. “No one has told you, Brother, that at times you have tom-toms beating in your voice?”

ANSWERS





  1. A

  2. A

  3. D

  4. D

  5. A

  6. B

  7. A

  8. C

  9. A

  10. A

  11. B

  12. B

  13. C

  14. B

  15. D

  16. D

  17. D

  18. D

  19. C

  20. B

  21. A

  22. C

  23. B

  24. B

  25. A

  26. A

  27. C

  28. E

  29. B

  30. D

  31. C

  32. A

  33. B

  34. D

  35. E

  36. E

  37. B

  38. C

  39. D

  40. A

  41. B

  42. C

  43. A

  44. E

  45. D

  46. B

  47. E

  48. D

  49. C

  50. A

  51. E

  52. C

  53. D

  54. B

  55. A

  56. A

  57. C

  58. E

  59. D

  60. B

  61. B

  62. A

  63. D

  64. C

  65. E

  66. D

  67. C

  68. A

  69. E

  70. B

  71. E

  72. A

  73. B

  74. C

  75. D




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