Native Son 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. How does Bigger plan to explain his fingerprints in Mary's bedroom?

2. After meeting Mrs. Dalton, what two things does Bigger note about her?

3. Why is Bigger afraid of being caught in Mary's bedroom?

4. Where is Mary Dalton expected to go on the day after Bigger is hired by her father?

5. Where does Bigger and Mary take Jan after their evening out?

Short Essay Questions

1. After all the gory details of the way he disposed of Mary's body, how was Bigger reacting?

2. What did he find outside near the car on the night of Mary's death, and what did he do with it?

3. Explain the game, "White," that Bigger and his friends played.

4. How does Bigger really feel about holding up Blum's Delicatessen?

5. After Bigger realized Mary was dead, why didn't he even consider just telling the truth?

6. What is the symbolism of the two movies Bigger and his friends saw?

7. Why did Bigger decide to put Mary's body in the trunk?

8. Why does Bigger panic when Mrs. Dalton enters Mary's room while he is in there?

9. What was the story Bigger planned to tell when he returned in the morning?

10. Why does Bigger seem to take an instant dislike to Mary Dalton?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the very end of the story Max is upset when Bigger comes to the conclusion that it must have been good that he killed. In an essay explain Bigger's reasoning and how he came to that conclusion. Also explain what Max is trying to make Bigger understand after he comes to this conclusion. Why might the two men have different views on this subject?

Essay Topic 2

Symbolism of words "White" and "Black"

The author of this novel, Richard Wright, has used the words "Black" and "White" heavily throughout this novel. Write an essay on the symbolism of these words, using several examples of each from the novel. Include whether or not the words influenced you at all as you read it.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on the way the author, Richard Wright wrote this story, demonstrates both sides of the "nature versus nurture" theory. This is particularly strong when Max testifies to the court about Bigger's life. In the essay describe various parts of the story and how they reinforce both aspects of the theory.

(see the answer keys)

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