Native Son Test | Final 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 many people are searching for Bigger?

2. How does Bigger sign the ransom note he has written to Mr. Dalton?

3. As Bigger tells his fabricated story about the previous evening to Mr. Dalton and Britten, what is he feeling?

4. What happens when Britten backs Bigger against the wall and grabs his collar asking him about the pamphlets Jan Erlone gave him?

5. Bigger finally shakes down the ashes, but he doesn't remove them from the furnace, he just adds more coal. What happens then?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what ways was Bigger's capture similar to the opening of the book when Bigger chased, eventually killing the rat?

2. What kind of power did Bigger have over Bessie that she continued to obey his direction even though she knew it was wrong?

3. What things made the Daltons begin to worry about their daughter being gone?

4. What did Bigger's brother, Buddy, have to say to him?

5. What was Bigger's fatal mistake in his plan to dispose of Mary's body?

6. Why did Bigger decide to try to blame Jan and the Communist Party for the kidnapping?

7. As Bigger arrived at the Dalton home on the morning after Mary's murder how was he feeling?

8. What is the Loeb and Leopold case that gave Bigger the idea to pretend Mary was kidnapped and collect a ransom?

9. Bigger was very much interested in reading about himself in the newspapers. Of what significance was this?

10. How did Bigger feel about killing Bessie?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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