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. How do Putnam and MIss Maria punish Hark?
(a) By whipping him.
(b) By making him sleep outside.
(c) By locking him in the root cellar.
(d) By making him climb a tree.

2. What do the Negroes in church use to fan themselves?
(a) Thin, pine-bark shingles.
(b) Folded pieces of paper.
(c) Pine boughs.
(d) Starched, ironed pieces of cloth.

3. According to Nat's confession, he had originally intended the rebellion to begin on what day?
(a) His birthday.
(b) His master's birthday.
(c) July 4th.
(d) July 1st.

4. Where is Nat found to be hiding?
(a) In the woods.
(b) In a swamp.
(c) In a cave.
(d) Under a log.

5. Who did Nat confide his plans for the insurrection to?
(a) A few other slaves.
(b) Eighteen slaves.
(c) Five other slaves.
(d) Twelve other slaves.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Gray tell Nat about the Bible, when he cannot bring one to Nat?

2. Who was Nat's master at the time of the insurrection?

3. What weapon does Nat carry?

4. In Part 1, how does Gray refer to Nat?

5. According to Nat's confession, how many people did he kill?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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 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?

5. In Part 1, Gray reads back Nat's account of the killings, and Nat yells at him to stop. Why did Nat say that? Did he feel remorse? Nat says, "We done what had to be done!" Was he was talking about his "visions" and what they told him, or what Nat, personally, felt needed to be done?

6. Read Nat's description of Gray when they first meet in Part 1. Read Nat's thoughts about Gray immediately after the description. What does Nat think and/or feel about Gray? Does that have an effect on Nat's decision to confess? What does he think whites expect of him?

7. By the middle of Part 1, readers have met four white people: Gray, Kitchen, Miss Maria Pope, and Jeremiah Cobb. None of them are described positively. Why might that be? Since the book is supposedly written from Nat's point of view, why might he only describe white people (to this point in the book) in negative terms?

8. 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?

9. Prejudice is "an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought or reason". (Dictionary.com) Do you think Nat displays prejudice toward Gray? Toward whites in general? How? List specific examples from Part 1.

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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