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. What does the narrator have for breakfast that is described as “boiled to the consistency where it could be eaten with a fork” in Chapter 4?

2. What habit does the narrator say he picked up on very young that “makes the piano a sympathetic, singing instrument” in Chapter 2?

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

4. The narrator claims in Chapter 1, “As I look back now I can see that I was a perfect little” what?

5. What term from the book refers to “the boys who pulled the long stems from the tobacco leaves”?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. To whom were African American narratives during the Reconstruction Era generally addressed? Why?

4. How is segregation addressed when the narrator eats his first meal in Atlanta in Chapter 4?

5. Who is the narrator of The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man? What secret does he discuss in Chapter 1?

6. What are “slave narratives”? How are they related to the narrative of The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man?

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

8. Who is the narrator’s guide when he first arrives in Atlanta in Chapter 4? What are the narrator’s impressions of the city?

9. How does the theme of identity apply to the novel? How does it apply to the narrator?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Define and identify motif in literature, and the motifs in the narrative. How does violence apply to the novel as a motif? In what ways does the narrator associate violence with the African American community? How does this differ from the white community?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the setting of Atlanta, Georgia, and the narrator’s impressions of the city upon arrival. How does the city compare with the narrator’s childhood home in Connecticut? How does he perceive the African Americans of the South to be different than those of the North? Where does the narrator stay upon his arrival?

Essay Topic 3

Define and identify foreshadowing in the narrative. How does the author effectively use foreshadowing in Chapter 4 to indicate that something may go wrong with the narrator’s money? What is foreshadowed regarding the narrator’s future and education in this chapter? How does the narrator respond to his situation at the end of Chapter 4?

(see the answer keys)

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