Nightjohn 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. What word from Chapter 3 refers to a person who manages slaves on a plantation?

2. What euphemism does Sarny use to describe menstruation in Chapter 1?

3. What kind of flowers is Sarny working on in the flower bed in the beginning of Chapter 2?

4. How old was Sarny when her birth mother was sold?

5. How is John attired when he first arrives at the plantation in Chapter 3?

Short Essay Questions

1. What intrigues and inspires Sarny to want to learn to read and write? What risks does she take in doing so?

2. What job or jobs does Sarny do around the plantation in Chapter 1?

3. Why were slaves forbidden education historically? How is this depicted in the novel?

4. How does John behave toward the other slaves after his arrival in Chapter 3?

5. How is John's appearance described when he first arrives at the plantation in Chapter 3?

6. What is significant about the animal imagery that is seen in Chapter 3?

7. What is the trade that John offers to make with Sarny in Chapter 3? How does Sarny feel about the offer?

8. How is Sarny's character introduced to the reader in Chapter 1? What does Sarny say brought Nightjohn to her?

9. How is Sarny's relationship with Mammy illustrated in Chapter 1? How does Mammy feel about the other children she cares for?

10. What imagery and/or symbolism is used in describing the slaves on the plantation in Chapter 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the setting of Waller’s plantation. About how many slaves do you imagine living on the plantation? What kinds of crops does Waller produce? Where on the plantation do the slaves live? What are their living quarters like? How is Waller’s home described?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the poetic elements seen in “Words.” Develop a chart that indicates examples in this chapter of repetition, assonance, alliteration, rhyme, meter, symbolism, metaphor, etc. Why do you think that this chapter differs from the others in its narrative style? What does this change indicate?

Essay Topic 3

Describe and discuss the history, formation, and influences of pit schools in the American South during the era of slavery. What impact do you think that these schools had on the abolition of slavery in the United States? Why is it important to understand this history?

(see the answer keys)

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