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. What does Noah do the next morning?

2. What has the sonquem asked of Mayfield?

3. Who interferes in the sonquem's request?

4. What does Caleb do for Solace?

5. With whom is Bethia's father arguing?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Bethia come to believe she needs to watch her father preach?

2. What is Bethia's hope about the time Mayfield will use in converting the native Indians?

3. How does the first attempt at the conversion of the sonquem go and what changes that?

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

5. How does Bethia describe Caleb?

6. What does Noah show Bethia the next morning and what is her reaction?

7. What happens when a whale strands itself on the beach and how does Bethia feel about the situation?

8. What does Bethia's father say about the sonquem when Mayfield returns to the Merry home?

9. How does Bethia feel about Solace?

10. How does Bethia describe her life in Cambridge?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in Caleb's Crossing. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of culture and religion in Caleb's Crossing. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to be able to meld their culture and their religion? What about how religion influences culture?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death in Caleb's Crossing. What types of deaths besides physical are portrayed in Caleb's Crossing? How does death change the lives of the characters, especially Bethia?

4. Trace and analyze the theme of sin and redemption in Caleb's Crossing. Who believes sin is real? Who does not? How does sin in a character's beliefs coincide with guilt? What characters considers herself/himself sinful?

Essay Topic 2

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Caleb's Crossing is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Over the course of The Maze, Bethia grows as a person in both complexity and understanding. Caleb's Crossing might be considered a slice of Bethia's larger story of her "coming of age." It might be said that Caleb's Crossing is a "bildungsroman" of Bethia. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Bethia as she changes from a more carefree, innocent girl to a wiser, older woman. What are the significant events that change Bethia?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Bethia's growth throughout Caleb's Crossing, do you think Caleb's Crossing could be considered Bethia's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other characters in Caleb's Crossing who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

(see the answer keys)

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