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. After he returns to work at the Dalton house, what happens when Peggy asks Bigger to tend to the furnace because it has been running too hot?

2. Who is Britten?

3. In what ways does Bigger act to give the impression he thinks Mary is asleep upstairs in her bedroom?

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

5. After he recalls killing Mary Dalton, what did Bigger realize he left in plain sight of his mother and his siblings?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How did Bigger feel about killing Bessie?

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

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

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

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

7. What is the one problem Bigger feels he has to do before he will be okay?

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

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

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

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

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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