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. The narrator says in Chapter 5 that he picked up the cigar-maker’s habit of riding around in what on Sunday afternoons?

2. What does the tall man with the small, dark moustache drill a hole through in Chapter 1 as the narrator watches?

3. The narrator states in Chapter 2, “And this is the dwarfing, warping, distorting influence which operates upon each colored man in the United States. He is forced to take his outlook on all things, not from the viewpoint of a citizen, or a man, nor even a human being, but from the viewpoint of” what?

4. Who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

5. The narrator’s companion tells him in Chapter 4 that all of the “respectable coloured people” eat where?

Short Essay Questions

1. How are the author’s teenage years described? For whom did he work and where?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the character of the narrator’s mother and her relationship with the narrator in his youth. Why does the narrator’s mother not inform him of his heritage before he discovers the truth at school? How do the other students react to the narrator’s misunderstanding with the principal? How does the narrator’s discovery of his black heritage influence his personal view of himself and of the others around him?

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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