The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man 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. Whose schoolwork did the narrator largely complete for him, as described in Chapter 2?

2. With what does the narrator describe having been allowed to play by the tall man with the small, dark moustache in Chapter 1?

3. Whom does the narrator describe as “a bright young fellow who was himself a student” that he talks with on the train ride in Chapter 4?

4. Where does the porter say he will return to school in the winter in Chapter 4?

5. Within how much time is the narrator able to speak Spanish like a native after working at the factory in Chapter 5?

Short Essay Questions

1. What advice is the narrator given after his money is stolen in Chapter 4? Who helps him out?

2. Where does the narrator hide his money at the rooming house in Chapter 4? Where does he go after this?

3. How does the motif of music apply in the novel? What is the narrator’s relationship to music?

4. What is early education like for the narrator? When does he enter public school and how is this setting described?

5. How is the early childhood of the narrator described in Chapter 1? Where does he live?

6. When and where was the author of the book born and raised? How are his parents described?

7. How is the second Pullman car porter described by the narrator in Chapter 4?

8. In what ways does the narrator show blindness and naiveté regarding his race?

9. How does dramatic irony relate to The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man?

10. How is the period in which the book is set described by the author? What was life like for African Americans?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and discuss the cigar industry in the late 1800s, early 1900s in Florida and Cuba. What were relations like at this time between Cuba and the United States? How many of the narrator’s coworkers hail from Cuba? What influences do they have on him?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the segregation of white and black clubs in New York during this time period in history. Were the whites who came to the black clubs ostracized? Why or why not? When were African Americans allowed into white clubs?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the imagery and symbolism used by the narrator in describing Paris and London in Chapter 9. How does he compare these cities? What are examples of personification, simile, and metaphor in his descriptions? How does this imagery affect the tone of this chapter?

(see the answer keys)

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