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 do to silence Mary in her room?

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

3. Where does Bigger say white people live?

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

5. Where does Bigger have a job interview?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Bigger's home.

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

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

5. What happened when Mary's body didn't fit into the furnace?

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

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

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

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

10. Why does Bigger need to get a job?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

Use of Actual Historical Events:

The author of this novel, Richard Wright, used actual historical events in the novel to bring more life to the story and to aid in his plot. In particular he mentioned the Scottsboro Boys and the Leob and Leopold Case. Write an essay about these cases and how they fit into the novel. Add any additional points used that were from real historical events.

(see the answer keys)

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