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

2. What was the first stop for the initial band of men on the insurrection?

3. What does Nat compare his life as a slave child to?

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

5. Who tries to take over the insurrection from Nat?

Short Essay Questions

1. After Nat spells the word columbine, he lies awake that night thinking about it. He says it's a dream filled with 'inchoate promise'. What does he mean by that? How can one word be a promise?

2. In Part 2, Nat describes two events: "one causing me the bitterest anguish, the other premonitions of joy." What were these two events, and why might they have been told together?

3. In Part 2, Nat tells of Little Morning spying on him as a jealous response to the realization that Nat could read. This is the first time Nat tells of a negative reaction to his reading and learning. Why might Little Morning have reacted like this?

4. In Part 2, Nat talks about Samuel Turner's tampering with a slave's destiny by educating him. Immediately afterward, he talks about what his life might have been like if he had not been the subject of Marse Samuel's "experiment." What do you think of this description of his might-have-been life? Is it something that appeals to him?

5. Miss Nell calls Nat "you smart little tar baby" in Part 1. Please explain what is meant by that name, and how it compares to what a white child would be called for the same reason.

6. After Nat's fast in Part 3, he said there were two events that helped him interpret his vision of the fighting angels as a mandate to kill whites. What were those two events?

7. 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?

8. When Nat imagines his grandmother's thoughts as a captured Coromantee slave girl, he describes Marse Samuel's smile as looking to her like "fiendish smirk." Why would he would describe the kindest master he had in this way?

9. When Nat preaches in town in Part 3, he does not use proper English. Why do you think he does that?

10. In Part 3, when Nat is owned by Thomas Moore, he says that he fell into the kind of save work that he had believed before could "not ever become my lot, not in a thousand lifetimes." Yet now it had become his lot. How did Nat react to that? How does this turning point relate to his earlier childhood and education, as well as his eventual killing spree?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

During his lifetime, Nat has four masters: Samuel Turner, Reverend Eppes, Thomas Moore, and Joseph Travis, and each of these masters treated Nat differently. Compare and contrast these owners and the effect they had on Nat.

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

Nat is romantically drawn to Miss Margaret, yet his feelings for her also cause him panic. What are some of his conflicting feelings for Miss Margaret? How does he try to reconcile them? Cite specific examples from the text. Compare and contrast his feelings for Miss Margaret to his feelings for other white female characters in the book, like Mrs. Whitehead. How are they alike or different?

(see the answer keys)

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