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 impeded the Progressive Party's progression in Harlem during the 1940s?

2. Of all Americans, who does Baldwin say Negroes distrust the most?

3. Why does Baldwin think it is safe for the film Carmen Jones to utilize an all-Negro cast?

4. Where is Harlem located?

5. What stereotypical trait do the immoral and evil characters share in the film Carmen Jones?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the Swiss village that Baldwin visits in the essay Stranger in the Village.

2. Why is Baldwin living a bleak life in Paris before he befriends a man from New York?

3. How does Baldwin describe the American student colony in Paris?

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

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

6. Why does Baldwin address the phenomenon of Americans choosing to remain in Paris after World War II?

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

8. Why were the Melodeers performing in the south?

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

10. Why did ex-GIs question their identity while studying in Paris?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Escaping is a major theme throughout many of the essays in Baldwin's book. For instance Baldwin escapes to Switzerland to write his book and African American soldiers escape to Paris for education and French culture. How do you think writing this book served as an escape for Baldwin? Did he write to escape the perils of life or racial prejudice? Did he write to help other understand the escape of African Americans from America and American culture? Please use examples from the book to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

In the essay entitled Many Thousands Gone, Baldwin refers to the story of the Negro in America as the story of America. How is the story of the Negro in America the story of America? What about the Negroes' story makes it representative of America and American society? 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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