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 ring or fastening of iron or wood used for securing the wrist, ankle, etc.?

2. In whose memory is Nightjohn dedicated by the author in the opening pages?

3. From what device do Sarny and the other slaves eat their meals at the plantation?

4. What term refers to the movement to end slavery?

5. What substance does Sarny equate the color of her skin with in Chapter 3?

Short Essay Questions

1. How would you describe the narrator of the story? Is the narrator directly involved in the action of the narrative?

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

3. What does Mammy measure on the sticks that she keeps for each child on the plantation? Why?

4. How would you describe the tone and mood of the novel as established in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

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

9. How does Sarny describe Mammy's method of praying in Chapter 2? Why does Mammy pray this way?

10. How would you describe the dialect and language style established in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and analyze the character of Clel Waller in Nightjohn. How old is Clel Waller? How would you describe Sarny’s opinions of Master Waller? How do the other slaves feel about the master? How does Waller’s character evolve in the course of the story?

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

Discuss the “barter” made between John and Sarny when they first meet. How does bartering or trading relate to the theme of monetary value in the novel? What does Sarny trade with John in order to learn “letters”? What does John gain from the arrangement?

(see the answer keys)

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