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. What is the avowed aim of the American protest novel?

4. What are there more of in Harlem than any other ghetto in the city?

5. What biblical story does Baldwin say allows the Blacks to identify with Jews?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does the American Negro escape to Paris?

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

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

6. Why does Baldwin escape to Switzerland?

7. Why is it important to examine the myths about African Americans in order to discover what it means to be a "Negro in America"?

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

9. Describe the Amsterdam Star-News.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the essay Notes of a Native Son, Baldwin uses his personal experience to describe his life as a native son. How does Baldwin's personal account as a Native Son compare to his summary and criticism of the book Native Son in the essay Many Thousands Gone? Does his account address the issues he had with the original story? 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

In the essay Journey to Atlanta, Baldwin recounts the Melodeers' experience with prejudice in Atlanta. Why do you think it was significant for Baldwin to point out the prejudice that occurred on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line? What does the Mason-Dixon Line represent? What is the significance of the Mason-Dixon Line and the Melodeers' trip down south? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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