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. What does Baldwin suggest the presupposition of the two novels Kingsblood Royal and If He Hollers Let Him Go are in the chapter entitled Many Thousands Gone?

2. Where did the Melodeers room while in Atlanta?

3. Who had the money to pay for the Melodeers' accommodations in Atlanta?

4. What was the aim of the quartet groups like the Melodeers?

5. In what year was the all-Black production of Carmen Jones released?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe how Baldwin's Harlem compares to his parent's Harlem.

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

5. According to Baldwin, what is the legend of Paris? What is the legend's connection to reality?

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

7. Why were the Melodeers performing in the south?

8. Describe the lead characters, Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, in Carmen Jones.

9. Why does Baldwin escape to Switzerland?

10. How are Ebony and Our World Magazines different?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Notes of a Native Son is a collection of essays written by James Baldwin to illuminate the life conditions of the Negro people during the 1940s and 1950s pre-civil rights era.

In your opinion, what audience did Baldwin want to read this book? Who was his target audience? Did he write his book for African Americans, Whites, Non-Americans, etc? Why do you think he wrote the book for the audience you have identified as his target audience? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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