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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 does the figurine symbolize?
2. How does the Brotherhood regard Clifton?
3. Whose words does the narrator contemplate as proof that he can have two identities and still be successful?
4. How does the narrator plan to overcome the white men of the Brotherhood?
5. Why does the narrator try to hide the figurine from Mary?
Short Essay Questions
1. What is the narrator's intention in speaking up for the black couple who have been evicted?
2. What was the narrator's real problem, and how has he settled it?
3. What is meant by "white fever"?
4. Why does the lady on the street become angry when he tries to put the figurine in the trash can?
5. The narrator says that he has learned that the lack of surprise is a warning. What does he mean?
6. Why is the narrator's funeral oration more moving than if he had planned a speech based according to party guidelines?
7. Why does Brother Jack defend the narrator at this point?
8. Why do Dupre and his men choose a particular building to burn?
9. What does Brother Jack really want the narrator to avoid doing?
10. Why does Jack become angry with the man who asks the narrator to sing a "spiritual"?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
In his last meeting with Hambro, the narrator is told that his own members--the blacks in Harlem--must be sacrificed for the good of the Brotherhood and that they will be making temporary alliances with other groups. Since the alliance with the blacks seems to have accomplished nothing for the blacks themselves, what was the purpose of the work in Harlem? Why did it fail? How did the alliance--if such it could be called--contribute to the riot?
Essay Topic 2
Discuss the use of white vs black and dark vs light throughout the novel. How are these contrasting concepts used in unexpected ways?
Essay Topic 3
Music or singing occur several times in the novel and the narrator himself refers to Armstrong. Explain how music contributes to the overall plot of the novel. Consider not only the narrator's private thoughts about music, but also the music in the chapel in Chapter 2, the music at the Brotherhood party, the man singing at Clifton's funeral, and others.
This section contains 1,111 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)