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. According to Baldwin, how does the book Native Son obliterate the good will of the people as a whole?

2. What has made some changes in the face of the Negro?

3. Who was the representative of the Progressive Party in Atlanta?

4. Why did Baldwin think the Negro vote was so easily bought and sold in the 1940s?

5. What is dehumanization of the Negro inseparable from?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Baldwin use Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin?

5. Describe Baldwin's relationship with his father.

6. Why were the Melodeers performing in the south?

7. What allows those former soldiers studying in Paris to remain abroad?

8. Why has Baldwin written extensively about the Negro press?

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

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

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

Baldwin writes the essays in the book Notes of a Native Son using more of a conventional style rather than an academic style. Analyze Baldwin's conventional approach to writing. How does Baldwin's conventional approach to writing enhance the book Notes of a Native Son? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Baldwin writes about the struggle for African Americans to find their own identity in the United States. Based on Baldwin's essays, do you think African Americans will be able to find their identity as American citizens or will they always have to "escape" in order to try to find their identity? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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