Brown Girl, Brownstones 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 Selina's mother bring home from work for Selina?

2. Why did parents avoid teaching their daughters about sex in the early part of the 20th Century?

3. What does Selina find out when she returns home that Monday evening after her father has cashed the check from the land sale?

4. What does Beryl do to comfort Selina after they argue at the park?

5. When Suggie gives Selina some rum to drink in Book 2, what does she tell Selina that the rum will do to her?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the main problem in Silla's and Deighton's marriage?

2. How is the issue of racism introduced in Book 1?

3. In Book 1, why does Deighton want to keep the fact that he has inherited land as a surprise?

4. What event takes place in Book 3 that coincides with the beginning of World War II?

5. Why does Selina think that babies are born by chopping the mother's stomach open?

6. Why does Silla want to sell the land that her husband has inherited in Barbados so badly?

7. Beryl's father asks Selina about her own father, and then tells her that he is a disgrace. Why does that upset Selina so much?

8. In Book 1, Chapter 3, why is Maritze so annoyed with Suggie's romantic adventures?

9. Deighton starts to believe in a cult-like religion. Which cult-like religion is it?

10. How does Deighton respond to the racism that he encounters while applying for accounting jobs?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A character from Greek mythology, Atlas is compared to Selina because she feels like she is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. What are the type of weights that Selina carries? What other characters carry big weights on their shoulders? Does that make them stronger? Meaner? More compassionate? Does Atlas ever get relief from his burden? Do Selina, Silla, or any of the other characters?

Essay Topic 2

Literary critics and scholars differ in their views of whether an author's own life should be considered in the study of a piece of literature. What are your views on this question given what you know about Paule Marshall's life and the story she depicts in Brown Girl, Brownstones? Do you think that her own life is relevant? Or not? Can the book be appreciated for its own merits even if you are not familiar with any aspect of the author's life? Does knowing something about her life increase your understanding of the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Racism is one of the major themes in Brown Girl, Brownstones. Part 1: Discuss what you know about racism in the early 20th Century, and provide examples from the book that illustrate your points.

Part 2: Compare and contrast how Deighton, Silla, and Selina experience and react to racism.

(see the answer keys)

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