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 criticize the cleanliness of the Carmen Jones movie set?

2. According to Baldwin, what color is associated with evil?

3. What stereotypical trait is shared by the female and male leads in the film Carmen Jones?

4. Of all Americans, who does Baldwin say Negroes distrust the most?

5. How does Baldwin describe the relationship between the Negroes and the Jews in Harlem?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the lead characters, Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, in Carmen Jones.

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

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

4. According to Baldwin, what is the legend of Paris? What is the legend's connection to reality?

5. What did the Melodeers do to displease Mrs. Price?

6. According to Baldwin, what stereotypical qualities do Aunt Jemima and Uncle Tom share?

7. Why does the American Negro escape to Paris?

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

9. Who was Clarence Warde and what role did he play in the Journey to Atlanta?

10. Why does Baldwin address the phenomenon of Americans choosing to remain in Paris after World War II?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 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.

(see the answer keys)

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