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. Who was the presidential candidate representing the Progressive Party at the time Baldwin wrote this essay?

2. In what era did James Baldwin write Notes of a Native Son?

3. Why does Baldwin insist that the operatic songs performed by the cast in the film Carmen Jones have no connection to Negro life?

4. How is the story of the Negro described in the chapter entitled Many Thousands Gone?

5. Who is the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Baldwin use Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin?

4. What is the significance of having both the lead characters in the film Carmen Jones cast by light-complected Negroes?

5. Why does Baldwin not praise the movie Carmen Jones and its cast for breaking racial barriers?

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

7. Why do you think Baldwin decided to reveal his own personal reflections in the chapter entitled Notes of a Native Son?

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

9. What are some of the limitations that make it hard for Baldwin to tolerate the French prison system?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Baldwin writes about the struggle for African Americans to find their own identity in the United States. Based on Baldwin's essays, do you think African Americans will be able to find their identity as American citizens or will they always have to "escape" in order to try to find their identity? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

The purpose of Baldwin's essays is to analyze, understand and deal with racial prejudice. Choose one or two of Baldwin's essays and discuss how the essay incorporates this purpose of analysis, understanding, and dealing with racial prejudice. Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Isolation is a major theme throughout Baldwin's book Notes of a Native Son. What reasons do you think African Americans abroad had for choosing to isolate themselves from other African Americans abroad? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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