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. Why does Mrs. Dalton express disappoint in Bigger?

2. How many bedrooms does the Thomas family share?

3. Where do Mary and Jan sit in the car?

4. On Bigger's first night at work, what does he, Mary and Jan do as they drive around the park?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Bigger's home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Why does Bigger need to get a job?

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

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

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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