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. Where is Mary Dalton expected to go on the day after Bigger is hired by her father?

2. How does Bigger get Mary to her room without disturbing anyone?

3. What is the theme of the movie Bigger and Jack go to see?

4. After they leave the movie and go to the pool hall, what does Bigger do?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why did Bigger want to kill the cat?

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

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

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

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

8. Why did Bigger help Mary to her room instead of waking her parents and letting them know her drunken condition?

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

10. Describe Bigger's home.

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

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

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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