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. Why does Baldwin think it is safe for the film Carmen Jones to utilize an all-Negro cast?

2. In what year was the all-Black production of Carmen Jones released?

3. Why does Baldwin criticize the book Native Son?

4. Who played the lead role of Carmen in the film Carmen Jones?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the Swiss village that Baldwin visits in the essay Stranger in the Village.

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

3. Why has Baldwin written extensively about the Negro press?

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

5. What is the significance of having the evil and immoral characters played by very dark complected Negroes in the film Carmen Jones?

6. According to Baldwin, how do white Americans react to the American Negro's presence in Paris?

7. In the essay entitled Everybody's Protest Novel, why does Baldwin use the first person narrative perspective?

8. Describe Baldwin's tone in Everybody's Protest Novel.

9. How does Baldwin describe the American student colony in Paris?

10. According to Baldwin, why are the mannerisms of the character Carmen Jones based on rampant sexuality?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the chapter Many Thousands Gone, Baldwin describes what it means to be a "Native Son" for black men. In a later essay, Notes of a Native Son, Baldwin describes his life as a "Native Son." How does Baldwin's description compare to his personal account? In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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