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 does Mary suggest she, Jan, and Bigger go to eat?

2. What is wrong with Mary when Bigger takes her home?

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

4. Where do Bigger and Mary take Jan after their evening out?

5. What is Vera doing at the YWCA?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Mary's body doesn't fit into the furnace?

2. Describe Bigger's treatment when he is finally caught.

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

4. During his final conversation with Bigger, what was most frustrating for Max?

5. In what ways is Bigger's capture similar to the opening of the book when Bigger chases and eventually kills the rat?

6. Why doesn't Bigger want his mother and siblings to visit him in front of the Daltons and all the others who were in his cell at the time?

7. When Bigger awoke in the morning after Mary's death, what happens when he remembers what he had done the night before?

8. Although Bigger is very quick with his deceit and able to think on his feet, so to speak, in what way was he becoming his own worst enemy?

9. What is the one thing plaguing Bigger after he kills Mary? It is something that feels he has to do before he will be okay.

10. Describe Bigger's home.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

This is a story of contrasts. Write an essay about the contrasts within the novel and answer the question: are those contrasts still present 70 years later? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay and answer the following questions and explain why you feel this way. Was Bigger incredibly smart in the way he thought things through and created a plan to cover up Mary's death and even profit from it? Or, was Bigger incredibly naive to think he could pull it off?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about Bigger's sanity. Was he sane? Are their degrees of sanity as Boris Max was trying to prove? If you were on the jury in this case how would you feel?

(see the answer keys)

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