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. Where have all the natives gone when the play is just beginning?

2. What do the natives mistakenly think about Emperor Jones?

3. What does Emperor Jones do when he is invited, with a gesture, to join the figures he sees in the third forest scene?

4. Where does Emperor Jones go at the end of this first scene outside the palace?

5. How does Emperor Jones feel when he is orienting himself in the forest?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the irony in the natives' method for killing Emperor Jones.

2. Describe the structure at the center of the stage as the sixth forest scene opens.

3. Describe the apparition Emperor Jones sees in the fourth forest scene.

4. Which characters talk about Jones in the final scene? What do they say?

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

6. What does Emperor Jones do when he sees Jeff?

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

8. Before he sees Jeff, Emperor Jones surveys himself and assesses his plight. How does he feel about his situation?

9. What are two explanations for the identity of the chain gang?

10. In what way is the routine of the palace out of the ordinary as the play begins?

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

Citing specific instances from the text, describe three literary devices O'Neill uses in Emperor Jones. These might include foreshadowing, characterization, symbolism, dialect, metaphor, etc. How does the literary device appear in the play? How does it enhance the plot, building the play toward a crisis and then resolving that crisis?

Essay Topic 3

Emperor Jones strips off his clothing as the play goes on. Describe three instances where clothing is important in the play and describe the symbolic significance of clothing in the play.

(see the answer keys)

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