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's the name of Baldwin's brother who relayed his experience with the Melodeers in Atlanta?

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

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

4. How is history and the progress of the Negro described in the chapter entitled Many Thousands Gone?

5. Who is the author of Native Son?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the appearance and the role of Mrs. Branson Price.

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

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

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

5. Describe Baldwin's first experience with real-world hatred.

6. What allows those former soldiers studying in Paris to remain abroad?

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

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

9. According to Baldwin, why is it not the fault of the Negro press that the letters-to-the-editor section is the only section where the truth about the life of the Negro can be seen in print?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In the essay Journey to Atlanta, Baldwin retells the story of the Melodeers' trip to Atlanta. What types of style and tone techniques does Baldwin use in this essay and for what purpose does he use these forms? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

In Carmen Jones: The Dark is Light Enough, Baldwin criticizes the all-black version of Carmen Jones for its unrealistic portrayal of African American life, its emphasis on negative stereotypes, and it's "whitening" of African American life. However, this film was considered a major breakthrough venue of African American actors in the 1950s. What were Baldwin's criticisms? Why do you think Baldwin criticizes this film? How do the roles in the film affirm Baldwin's criticisms? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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