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. What is the title of the first part of the novel?

2. Who is the owner of the pool hall?

3. What does Bigger decide to do with Mary's body next?

4. What is wrong with Mary when Bigger takes her home?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Bessie's reaction when Bigger arrives at her apartment the morning after the murder of Mary?

2. As Bigger arrives at the Dalton home on the morning after Mary's murder how is he feeling?

3. What is the Leopold and Loeb case that gives Bigger the idea to collect a ransom by pretending Mary was kidnapped?

4. Describe Bigger's home.

5. What is Bigger's fatal mistake in his plan to dispose of Mary's body?

6. What deterred the Daltons from being excessively concerned when they find Mary isn't in the house the morning after she was murdered?

7. When does Bigger finally break his silence and fast?

8. The morning after Mary's killing, as Bigger rides the street car on his way back to the Dalton house, he spends a lot of time reflecting on the plight of black people. Explain what Bigger thinks would be a solution to their fear and shame.

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

10. 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?"

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Fear, Flight, and Fate Themes:

Write an essay about the way each of these themes were demonstrated in the story. Do any of them intertwine? If so, when and how?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on State Attorney Buckley and the way he handled the case against Bigger. Did Buckley have anything to gain by winning the case against Bigger? If so, what? By what was Buckley's case driven? Race? The gravity of the crime? The public's opinion? Selfish ambition? The honest opinion that if you do the crime you must face the consequences?

Essay Topic 3

Explore the theme of hope and/or hopelessness throughout the novel. Which character experience hope, hopelessness, or both? How do different character's response to experiencing hope or hopelessness compare?

(see the answer keys)

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