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. How does Bigger plan to explain his fingerprints in Mary's bedroom?

2. What is the job Mr. Dalton is hiring Bigger to do?

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

4. What doe Bigger and Jack think being "Red" is?

5. What terrorizes the family in the opening of the novel?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Bigger feel about his family?

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

6. Why did Bigger decide to put Mary's body in the trunk?

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

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

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

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

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 2

Fear, Flight and Fate Themes:

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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