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 happens when Deighton tries to apply for an accounting job?

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

3. Who is Father Peace?

4. In what part of New York does the Boyce family live?

5. Whose wedding does the family attend in Book 3?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Selina's daydreams about Barbados differ from her mother's memories?

2. How are Silla and Miss Thompson alike?

3. In Book 2, Beryl and Selina have a conversation about babies being born. Why do they not know the facts of life?

4. Why does Suggie drink rum and act so promiscuous?

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

6. In Book 1, Chapter 3, why does Selina worry about her mother?

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

8. Miss Thompson's roommate has three little girls, but it is Miss Thompson who cares for them. Why is that?

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

10. How do Deighton's actions support Silla's annoyances with him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Describe and analyze the ways in which Selina is innocent and how she gains knowledge. Connect those ideas to major themes in the book. In other words, identify the areas in which Selina is innocent, and track her journey into a more knowledgeable status in the area(s) that you cite. What themes do those topics illuminate?

(see the answer keys)

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