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 Bethia's name mean?

2. What does the perfect day Bethia is experiencing fail to do?

3. Where is Master Corlett's school?

4. What does Bethia describe at the opening of this section?

5. What does Caleb's reading of Hebrew bring to Bethia's mind?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens that evening after Caleb ends his friendship with Bethia that makes Bethia believe she contributes to her mother's death?

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

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

4. What does Mayfield's will say about further schooling for Joel, Caleb and Makepeace and how does that affect Bethia?

5. Where do Bethia's father and grandfather invite Bethia along and what is the purpose of their visit?

6. What does Caleb think of Bethia's name and how does he express his feelings about it?

7. What does Bethia say about Caleb and Joel regarding their studies?

8. How do Caleb and Joel do on their entrance exams?

9. Why is Caleb still disturbed about the situation with Anne and what does he do?

10. Who establishes the colony where Bethia lives and whom does Bethia feel has been wronged?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Analyze and discuss Caleb's Crossing based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if Caleb's Crossing is a successful novel.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if it is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Would most adults consider Caleb's Crossing a successful novel? What about young teens?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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