Study Guide for Exam 2
This page is intended as a helpful guide to studying for the exam. It may not cover all the information that is on the test. Your class notes and your books with your annotations should be your principal guide to studying for the exam.
Exam 2 will include multiple choice, identification, close analysis of a passage, and an essay.
I. Works Covered
All the works on your syllabus since Exam 1 may be covered; however, the works listed below will receive more emphasis. You should know the title of the story, the author, and the important features. Works in parentheses were assigned but not really discussed, so you don't need to know much about them but can discuss them in the essay portion. Some works that we didn't discuss have been omitted.
- The Public Enemy (film)
- Within Our Gates (film)
- Sterling Brown, "Ma Rainey" HRR 232-234
(Ma Rainey, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom")
Bessie Smith, "St. Louis Blues" (song)
Langston Hughes, "The Weary Blues" HRR 260-261;
Louis Armstrong, "Weary Blues" (song)
- Countee Cullen, "Heritage" HRR 244-248
(Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and "I, Too" HRR 257-258)
Alain Locke, from The New Negro, HRR 46-51
W. E. B. Du Bois, "Criteria of Negro Art," HRR 100-105
Langston Hughes, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain," HRR 91-95
- Jean Toomer, Cane, especially "Karintha," "Fern," "Georgia Dusk," and "Blood-Burning Moon," "Blood-Burning Moon," and "Box Seat"
- Nella Larsen, Passing
- Wallace Thurman, from The Blacker the Berry, HRR 636-649
- Claude McKay, from Home to Harlem, HRR 370-388
- Angelina Weld Grimke, from "The Closing Door" HRR 486-500
- Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
II. General issues, literary movements, ideas, and terms (from your notes). If you’ve been taking notes this semester, all of this information should be readily available in your notebook.
- Modernism and modernity
- Visions of the 1920s in later films
- The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age: Parallels
- The lost generation and information from reports
- Relationships among writers (Hemingway and Fitzgerald primarily, but also in general terms, as mentioned in class, the following: Larsen and Carl Van Vechten ("Wentworth" in Passing), etc.), Sherwood Anderson and Jean Toomer.
- W.E. B. Du Bois's ideas of African American art
- Pre-Code (and the Production Code--general information)
- New Negro
- race man
- double consciousness
- Cotton Club
- iceberg theory
- wound/trauma theory
- the Hemingway hero and the Code hero
- myth in Hemingway (the fisher king, the quest for the Holy Grail, and The Waste Land; Brett as Circe)
- race memory
- "black and tan" nightclub (in The Public Enemy)
- World War I
III. Potential essay questions. These are sample questions for the exam, although there is no guarantee that any of them will be on the exam. At least one of the questions will invite you to use materials from earlier in the semester if you want to do so, but you will not be required to write about materials covered before Exam 1.
- Compare and contrast Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield (or Lady Brett Ashley).
- Compare and contrast the vision of contemporary African American life in Thurman's The Blacker the Berry or McKay's Home to Harlem with the view in Passing.
- What part does jazz play in the literature of the Harlem Renaissance?
- Analyze the figure of Jake Barnes as a Hemingway code hero.
- In what ways is the idea of the primitive past seen as redemptive in Cane?
- What role do cabarets or theatrical performances play in literature of the Harlem Renaissance? In what ways do they symbolize the role of performance (and racial performance) in the literature?