The Emperor Jones Test | Mid-Book 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. What happens when Emperor Jones rings for the servants?

2. Which literary style describes the scenes in which Emperor Jones sees apparitions?

3. Where did Emperor Jones learn the ways of the white man?

4. What does Emperor Jones throw into the bushes?

5. How well has Emperor Jones prepared for his flight from the palace?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the setting where Act 1, Scene 4 begins.

2. Describe Emperor Jones' state of mind when the fourth forest scene opens.

3. What effect does Emperor Jones create by stripping off his clothes?

4. How does Emperor Jones feel when he talks to Jeff, but Jeff does not respond?

5. What progress, if any, has Emperor Jones made in the fifth forest scene?

6. List two interpretations of Jones' vision in the fourth forest scene.

7. Describe the setting for Scene 6, the fifth forest scene.

8. Describe the setting for the first scene of the play.

9. What relationship binds Emperor Jones to the figures in the vision he sees in the fifth forest scene?

10. What is Smithers' relationship to Emperor Jones?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Henry Smithers is the only white man in the play, and the witch doctor and Lem and the old woman in the first scene are the only natives with speaking roles. Compare and contrast the roles of the white and black characters. How are they the same? How are they different? What difference does skin color make in this play? What can Smithers do that the natives cannot, and vice versa? Are these characters presented as individuals, or as typifying their respective races?

Essay Topic 2

Emperor Jones makes a lot of money by ruling over the natives, but he is killed by money as well in the form of melted down silver coins. How does money appear in the play? What does it buy? What can it not buy? Are there other forms of exchange that use a different currency?

Essay Topic 3

How has the situation of American blacks changed since 1929, when this play was written? Have they overcome the challenges Emperor Jones faces, or represents himself as having faced? Has the ambiguity of the play's ending been resolved by multiculturalism? Cite instances from recent history as well as instances from the script.

(see the answer keys)

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