The Confessions of Nat Turner Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What does Nat remember during Gray's speech to the court?
(a) A stern lecture from his master.
(b) The twenty-third Psalm.
(c) Hearing God order him to kill.
(d) A song Miss Margaret wrote.

2. Who finds Nat and captures him?
(a) Benjamin Phipps.
(b) Benjamin Pepper.
(c) Benjamin Armstrong.
(d) Benjamin Phelps.

3. Nat describes black slaves as being docile, yet filled with ______.
(a) Fear .
(b) Pain.
(c) Revenge.
(d) Fury.

4. What weapon does Nat's captor carry?
(a) A knife.
(b) A sword.
(c) A bow and arrow.
(d) A shotgun.

5. Who is the last slave captured who participated in the rebellion?
(a) Nat.
(b) Nelson.
(c) Sam.
(d) Hark.

Short Answer Questions

1. Nat tells Gray of an event that "laid the groundwork" for his later actions, including the insurrection. What was that event?

2. What does Gray attribute the failure of the rebellion to?

3. Who does Trezevant compare Nat to?

4. What reason does Gray give in his introduction for publishing Nat's confessions?

5. Why does Gray say he published the Confessions?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Gray addresses the court, he blames "pure Negro cowardice" as a partial reason for the rebellion's failure, but then later in that same paragraph, Gray describes devoted slaves fighting "as bravely as any man" against Nat and his band. Why is he saying these things? Is he trying to confuse the justices?

2. What do readers know about Gray from the Introduction? What is implied, or what can be inferred from what Gray says? From this information, what kind of person might Gray be?

3. Near the middle of Part 1, Nat says that treating blacks badly will make them "your for life", but treat him nice, and "he will want to slice your throat." What does Nat mean by that?

4. In Part 1, Nat says "a white man's discomfiture, observed on the sly, has always been a Negro's richest delight." Is this true? If so, why? If not, why would Nat think such a thing? Either way, what does that quote suggest about Nat?

5. In Part 1, Nat gets very angry at Hark and chastises him for being so subservient to the whites. But Hark is a slave. Hark is doing what the whites expect, and being well treated because of it. Was Nat justified in what he did? Why or why not?

6. The Introduction opens in the jail, so the reader already know Nat has been caught. Why might the author have used this technique? Why not choose some other method of telling the story?

7. Part 1 is told partly in the court as Nat's sentence is being handed down and partly through flashbacks to earlier times in Nat's life. Why might Styron have opened the book this way? What purpose does it serve?

8. Describe the world that Nat lived in from a slave's perspective. Now describe it from a white person's perspective.

9. In the Introduction, Gray talks about an "annexed certificate of the County Court of Southampton" to prove the authenticity of Nat's "confession." Yet no one from the court, besides Gray, heard Nat's statements. Why might Gray have included the certificate?

10. At the end of the introduction, it states that the confession was read to Nat, and when asked if he had anything further to say, he said no. The rebellion was a complicated affair that involved planning. Why do you think Nat declined to say anything further?

(see the answer keys)

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