Caleb's Crossing Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Geraldine Brooks
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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. Where had Bethia gone to do in the story she is telling?

2. What does Bethia believe about her mother's death?

3. Why is Bethia angry after what Noah says?

4. Why does Bethia say she is so tired in Chapter 11?

5. Why does Bethia not know what will happen to her?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Bethia say to Corlett about applying for a position at another school and what is his response?

2. What does Bethia do in order to help Caleb when he is dying?

3. How does Bethia describe her life in Cambridge?

4. When and how does Bethia's father introduce Caleb to the White settlement?

5. Why is Bethia relieved when they board a vesself for Cambridge, and how is her first day there?

6. What happens to Bethia's sister Solace?

7. Why does Caleb say he and Bethia can no longer be friends?

8. Where is Bethia sent and what are the aftereffects of her drinking out of the gourd?

9. Describe the argument Bethia and Makepeace become embroiled in one day at the memorial for their father.

10. What does Tequamuck do as Mayfield prepares to leave for England, and what do some believe is the result of Tequamuck's actions?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Bethia and Caleb. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Caleb and Joel. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in Caleb's Crossing help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Caleb's Crossing. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Brooks chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Brooks chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Brooks's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliff hangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Brooks use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

Essay Topic 3

Caleb's Crossing belongs to the historical novel genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the historical novel genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a historical novel and a fantasy?

(see the answer keys)

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