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 does Bigger tell his friend Gus he could do if he had the chance?

2. Where does the novel "Native Son" take place?

3. What two words best describe Bigger in this opening part of the novel?

4. What does Bigger do after he puts Mary to bed?

5. What kind of relationship does Bigger have with Gus?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Bigger feel about his family?

2. What were Bigger's two final concerns about the burning body?

3. Describe Bigger's home.

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

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

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

7. Why did Bigger want to kill the cat?

8. What does it mean about Bigger "Feeling his blackness," even more after Mary Dalton and Jan Erlone's attempts at being friendly?

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

10. Why does Bigger get so angry and violent with Gus when he says he'll go along with the robbery?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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