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 is the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin?

2. Where can the true raison d'être of the Negro press be found?

3. Which of the following is not a characteristic given to history by Baldwin?

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

5. How does Baldwin describe the American Ideal?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why does Baldwin not praise the movie Carmen Jones and its cast for breaking racial barriers?

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

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

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

8. 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?

9. Why were the Melodeers performing in the south?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Compare and contrast Baldwin's experiences as a Negro in America to his experiences in Paris and Switzerland. How are these experiences similar? How are these experiences different? 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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