The Confessions of Nat Turner 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. After creating his little "tabernacle" in the woods at Moore's farm, what does Nat occasionally do?

2. As Nat approaches the age of thirty, what does he notice about the area in which he lives?

3. What is camphene?

4. Benjamin said that saves were as unteachable as a what?

5. What did Marse Samuel state he couldn't advocate freeing saves without?

Short Essay Questions

1. Nat equates Isham to John the Baptist. Nat speaks of a warning after the incident with Isham. Is this related?

2. After Nathaniel Francis forces Will and Sam to fight, Nat feels called to preach for the first time. Why do you think that was the event that brought Nat out in public as a preacher? Quote at least one reason from the book.

3. Nat's vision in Part 3 involves a white angel and a black angel fighting. The black angel wins, casting the white angel down. When Nat questions this vision, he says he received no answer at all "save the answer in my brain." What did he interpret this vision as, and why?

4. In Part 2, when Nat baptizes Willis, he feels he's on the brink of great things, that great possibilities in his life are opening up. Yet soon after, his life changes as the slaves and eventually the plantation, including him, are sold. Is it possible that this had an effect on Nat's eventual decision to kill the whites? Why?

5. After Nat describes his ideas about his grandmother, he switches to describing what he knows about his father--mainly that he ran away, and, at least in Nat's mind, is free now. How does Nat's description of his grandmother differ from his description of his father?

6. In Part 3 when Nat goes on his five-day fast, he begs the Lord to give him a sign and believed the Lord answered his request. What does Nat describe as being the answer to his request of the Lord?

7. Early in Part 2, the traveling salesman asks Nat to spell a word. This is the second time in the book that a spelling request has frightened Nat. What are some of the reasons Nat gives for his terror?

8. The story of Hark's escape and eventual return takes up a large section of Part 3. Why might Styron have devoted so much time to this story? What was he trying to show? What do readers learn from Nat's telling of the story?

9. The scene with Major Ridley's fiancee is very strong. A northern white woman, newly arrived in town, can't find her way around and can't understand the Negroes speech. According to Nat, she left, never to return. Why might Styron have had her interact with Arnold, an elderly slave who had been freed, but with no education and worse elocution?

10. Much of Part 2 is taken up with items from Nat's past. Why was so much of the book spent on the early times in Nat's life, rather than on his planning for the rebellion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Marse Samuel promised Nat his freedom, he couldn't deliver it right then. Eventually, the promise was broken and Nat was sold to different masters. Explore the effect this hope of freedom had on Nat immediately after he realized what Marse Samuel was saying, and later on, as he gradually realized the promise would never happen. Use at least two different examples from the book to back up your essay.

Essay Topic 2

Ethelred T. Brantley was told by Reverend Entwistle that he would never be welcome in the church. Yet Nat told him that he could be saved by baptism in the Spirit. Nat had studied the Bible, and we can assume Reverend Entwistle had, as well. How could two completely opposite statements about the same person come based on the same book? What might have been some reasons for Entwistle telling Brantley he wasn't welcome? What might have been some reasons for Nat to tell Entwistle he could be saved?

Essay Topic 3

The scene with Isham (Part 3) is particularly vivid. That moment when Isham dared to shout at Moore startled Moore, but they changed Nat. What was it about Isham's interaction that stuck with Nat? How did Nat look upon Isham's actions as being his call to develop the plans for the insurrection? Isham isn't mentioned again in the book, especially in anything related to the planned killings. Why do you think that is?

(see the answer keys)

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