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. What two stereotypical figures does the author portray as portraits of the Negro in America with laudatory and heinous qualities?

3. Why is the language and dialect in the film Carmen Jones considered an insult on black people?

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

5. What point of view does Baldwin use in this essay?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Baldwin criticize Richard Wright's book, Native Son?

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

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

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

6. How does Baldwin describe the Richard Wright's book, Native Son?

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

8. Describe Baldwin's relationship with his new friend that he meets in Paris in the essay Equal in Paris.

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

10. How did Baldwin receive word about the journey to Atlanta?

Essay 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 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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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