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 did Emperor Jones learn the ways of the white man?

2. Emperor Jones sees a group of figures in Act 1, Scene 4. What does he say to their leader?

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

4. The allegorical appearance of figures can also be described as what literary device?

5. What does Emperor Jones tell himself at the beginning of the third forest scene?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens between the prison guard and Emperor Jones?

2. How have the natives prepared to kill Emperor Jones?

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

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

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

6. What irony does Smithers point out in the final scene?

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

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

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

10. What is it that gives Emperor Jones the courage to act in the fourth forest scene?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe three things Emperor Jones is guilty about. Does he purge his guilt for any or all of them? Does he use different methods to purge his guilt over any one of the things he has done? Does he ever get free of his guilt or is he killed with guilt heavy on his conscience?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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