Notes of a Native Son 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 does Baldwin suggest the presupposition of the two novels Kingsblood Royal and If He Hollers Let Him Go are in the chapter entitled Many Thousands Gone?

2. According to Baldwin, who are the three most important characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin?

3. Although it is known that African Americans are not biologically or mentally inferior, what occurred during the World War II?

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

5. Since Negroes have been in this country, Baldwin writes that their one devastating gain was:

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Baldwin use the theme of racial prejudice to set the topic and tone for Notes of a Native Son?

2. What roles does religion play in the life of the Negro?

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

4. Why did seeing the hotel monogram on the sheets mean nothing to Baldwin?

5. Why did ex-GIs question their identity while studying in Paris?

6. How are Ebony and Our World Magazines different?

7. Describe Baldwin's relationship with his father.

8. What is the significance of the protest novel?

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

10. Why does Baldwin conclude that the religion of the villagers is Catholicism?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the essay entitled Many Thousands Gone, Baldwin refers to the story of the Negro in America as the story of America. How is the story of the Negro in America the story of America? What about the Negroes' story makes it representative of America and American society? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Escaping is a major theme throughout many of the essays in Baldwin's book. For instance Baldwin escapes to Switzerland to write his book and African American soldiers escape to Paris for education and French culture. How do you think writing this book served as an escape for Baldwin? Did he write to escape the perils of life or racial prejudice? Did he write to help other understand the escape of African Americans from America and American culture? 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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