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 happens when the first police officer comes through the trap door to the rooftop?

2. Who is Britten?

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

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

5. How does Bigger feel committing murder has changed his life?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Although Bigger was 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?

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

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

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

10. The morning after Mary's killing, as Bigger rode the street car on his way back to the Dalton house, he spent a lot of time reflecting on the plight of black people. Explain what Bigger thought would be a solution to their fear and shame.

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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