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. When Peggy gives Bigger dinner, what other job does she tell Bigger he must do?

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

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

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

5. After Bigger threatens Gus, who prevents him from attacking the other man?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do the Dalton's make Bigger feel so uncomfortable?

3. How does Bigger feel about his family?

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

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

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

7. Describe Bigger's home.

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

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

10. Why does Bigger need to get a job?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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