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. What does Jan Erlone think when he hears Bigger's lie about him?

2. What keeps stopping Bigger from shaking down the ashes in the furnace?

3. What does Bigger say when Bessie asks if he murdered Mary Dalton?

4. What is Bigger's only regret about what he did to Bessie?

5. What does Peggy decide must have happened to Mary?

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. When did Bigger realize how quickly news was going to spread that he had killed Mary?

4. In Book two, what does Bigger do at the drug store?

5. What was the argument Bigger had with his family as he tried to pack his things the day after Mary's death?

6. What deterred the Daltons from being excessively concerned when they found Mary wasn't in the house the morning after she was murdered?

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

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

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

10. Describe Bigger's treatment when he was finally caught.

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

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 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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