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 is the setting where the play begins?

2. What do the dark figures who Emperor Jones sees in the forest know?

3. What color is Jones' uniform?

4. What does Emperor Jones throw into the bushes?

5. Emperor Jones sees a group of figures in Act 1, Scene 4. What happens when Emperor Jones shoots at the leader?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the apparition Emperor Jones sees in the sixth forest scene.

2. How does Jones break the spell of the apparition in the fifth forest scene?

3. How does Emperor Jones dispel the apparition in Act 1, Scene 7?

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

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

6. What effect do the formless fears have on Emperor Jones?

7. In what way is Emperor Jones' situation ironic?

8. Describe Emperor Jones' appearance in the first scene.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Emperor Jones takes advantage of the natives' superstition. Cite three instances of superstition in the play and describe the belief behind each one. Is there another way of believing in things in this play? Does superstition reveal its limitations as a method of belief? Does it reveal its strength? Is one kind of superstition more powerful than another when it comes to Emperor Jones' feelings, or his power over the natives, or Jones' guilt?

Essay Topic 2

Emperor Jones uses violence to solve certain problems in his life, but he is brought down by an act of violence himself. Compare and contrast his murder of Jeff and his murder by the natives. How are they similar? How are they different? Is one act of violence equivalent to another? Is one more or less just than the other?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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