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. What two big name magazines, popular in the African American community in the 1940s, are mentioned in the chapter entitled The Harlem Ghetto?

3. Who played the villainous second male lead in Carmen Jones?

4. According to Baldwin, at what point does the making of an American begin?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do you think Baldwin experiences a sense of melancholy after his father's death?

3. Why does the American Negro escape to Paris?

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

5. What is the main difference between the American Negro and the French Negro?

6. Why is the American Negro envious of the French African?

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

8. Describe the Amsterdam Star-News.

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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