Notes of a Native Son Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many of Baldwin's brothers were in the quartet?

2. What two big name magazines, popular in the African American community in the 1940s, are mentioned in the chapter entitled The Harlem Ghetto?

3. Who played the villainous second male lead in Carmen Jones?

4. According to Baldwin, at what point does the making of an American begin?

5. How was the 1955 production of Carmen Jones different than previous productions?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Baldwin, how do the Europeans react to the American Negro's presence in Paris?

2. Why do you think Baldwin experiences a sense of melancholy after his father's death?

3. Why does the American Negro escape to Paris?

4. How does Baldwin describe the social climate that existed when Richard Wright was writing Native Son?

5. What is the main difference between the American Negro and the French Negro?

6. Why is the American Negro envious of the French African?

7. Why did many of the Americans that chose to study in Paris after the war, return to the United States?

8. Describe the Amsterdam Star-News.

9. What is the purpose of the book Notes of a Native Son?

10. Why don't the individuals in the Swiss village identify black people as negative?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Notes of a Native Son is a collection of essays written by James Baldwin to illuminate the life conditions of the Negro people during the 1940s and 1950s pre-civil rights era.

In your opinion, what audience did Baldwin want to read this book? Who was his target audience? Did he write his book for African Americans, Whites, Non-Americans, etc? Why do you think he wrote the book for the audience you have identified as his target audience? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Based on Baldwin's essays Carmen Jones: The Dark is Light Enough and The Harlem Ghetto, what role did media (i.e. newspapers, magazines, and film) have on the life of the Negro in the 1940s and 1950s? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

In the essay entitled, A Question of Identity, Baldwin finds it ironic that many Americans opted to remain in Europe after the war to experience the cultural freedoms available there, but later returned to the Unites States hungry for the rules and society in which they were raised. Do you find this ironic? Why do you think African American men returned to the United States after spending time in Europe? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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