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. As Bigger is leaving the Dalton home after Mary's death, what does he find near the Dalton's car?

2. Who is the lone witness to Bigger's crime?

3. Who does Bigger decide to blame for Mary's death?

4. Where does Bigger take the trunk with the body inside?

5. What happens when Bigger puts Mary's body in the trunk?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Bigger so upset when Max is uncertain of what Bigger meant when he spoke of the things he had told Max "that night?"

2. During his final conversation with Bigger, what was most frustrating for Max?

3. What does Max say to State's Attorney Buckley when Buckley ridicules Max for wanting to handle Bigger's case?

4. What makes Bigger decide not to withdraw into his trance-like state again?

5. What happens when Mary's body doesn't fit into the furnace?

6. What kind of power does Bigger have over Bessie that she continues to obey him, even though she knows it is wrong?

7. Bigger is very much interested in reading about himself in the newspapers. Of what significance was this?

8. Why is Bigger also charged with the rape of Mary?

9. In what ways is Bigger's capture similar to the opening of the book when Bigger chases and eventually kills the rat?

10. With the gory disposal of Mary's body, how is Bigger reacting?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Research and write an essay about the novel's author, Richard Wright. What other novels has he written? What are common themes among his writings?

Essay Topic 2

There are places in the story where Bigger demonstrates a keen ability to visualize a situation ahead of time and can evaluate the possible outcomes. Is this an advantage or disadvantage to him in the story? Give examples in the essay.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about Bigger's sanity. Was he sane? Are their degrees of sanity as Boris Max was trying to prove? If you were on the jury in this case how would you feel?

(see the answer keys)

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