The Big Sea: An Autobiography Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What was the "mother ship?"
(a) A ship carrying food and supplies to soldiers at sea.
(b) A ship carrying soldiers to submarine boats.
(c) A ship carrying a crew to keep the dead ships in order.
(d) A ship carrying generals and dignitaries to ocean liners.

2. What was the general atmosphere on the S.S. Malone during its journey on the coast of Africa?
(a) Mostly boring, hot, and hostile.
(b) Mostly sad, meloncholy, and depressing.
(c) Mostly jovial, friendly, and fun.
(d) Mostly angry, hostile, and dangerous.

3. Where did Hughes, his mother, and his grandmother go to meet his father?
(a) Mexico.
(b) Kentucky.
(c) Cuba.
(d) California.

4. What canned meat did Frau Schultz and Hughes enjoy that had a label written in Spanish only?
(a) Lobster.
(b) Tuna.
(c) Sardines.
(d) Eel.

5. What rivers were on Hughes's mind when he wrote his famous poem on the way to Mexico?
(a) The Mississippi, Rio Grande, Niger and the Nile.
(b) The Mississippi, Congo, Niger, and the Nile.
(c) The Mississippi, Missouri, and the Nile.
(d) The MIssissippi, Appalachian, Ural and the Nile.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where did Sonya finally find a job?

2. What did Hughes's ship bring to Africa?

3. Where did the S.S. Malone finally put in?

4. How old was Hughes when he sailed away from America?

5. How much was Hughes supposed to win by spending the night on the haunted ship?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Hughes notice about the way Mexicans and Negros were treated differently, particularly on his way home from Mexico to Cleveland, Ohio?

2. What were the contents of the one box Hughes brought with him on the ship? What was he thinking about as he threw the contents of the box off of the S.S. Malone into the ocean?

3. How did Hughes begin writing poetry? Did he like writing poetry? What was his style of poetry?

4. What happened aboard the S.S. Malone the week before the ship reached the Virgin Islands on its return to New York?

5. How did Hughes react to being thought of as Mexican on his way home from Mexico? How did he use this misidentity to his advantage?

6. What happened to Hughes when he, his mother, and his grandmother went to Mexico? Why did they go there, and when did they return?

7. Who did Hughes stand in line to see at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York? What did he think of the performance?

8. How did Hughes convince his father to allow him to attend Columbia University in New York? When did Hughes leave Mexico for college?

9. How did Hughes meet someone in Paris who helped him find a place to stay, and who was the person? What was the surprise Hughes found when he went up to his room?

10. Why did Hughes throw all of his books overboard while traveling to Africa? What did this act symbolize?

(see the answer keys)

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