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. How many of Baldwin's brothers were in the quartet?

2. Where is Atlanta located?

3. How does Baldwin describe literature on the subject of the Negro in America when it is written by Whites?

4. How is history and the progress 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 Baldwin's relationship with his new friend that he meets in Paris in the essay Equal in Paris.

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

3. Why do you think Baldwin distrusts his father's warnings about the weight of white people in the world?

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

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

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

7. Why does Baldwin criticize Richard Wright's book, 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 are the mannerisms of the character Carmen Jones based on rampant sexuality?

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 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.

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

Baldwin describes his relationship with his father in Notes of a Native Son. After his father's death, Baldwin feels a sense of melancholy that he never had a chance to bond with his father. Why do you think Baldwin feels this way? What regrets, if any, do you think Baldwin had at the end of his father's life? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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