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. With whom does Caleb develop a close friendship over time?

2. What does Caleb's "real" name mean?

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

4. What does Bethia's father say about Bethia learning too much?

5. How does Bethia see Caleb at this time?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Bethia describe her life in Cambridge?

2. What happens to Bethia's sister Solace?

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

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

5. What does Bethia say about the influence of Cambridge on Caleb?

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

7. Describe the effect of Bethia's father's preaching on the Wampanoag.

8. What is Bethia's father's dealings with the Wampanoag, and how does Bethia learn their language?

9. How does Bethia describe Caleb?

10. What does Bethia say about her two brothers and what her father says about females?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Caleb's actions in Chapter 7 can clearly be seen as an important component of his overall journey and intention - to be as fully native a man as he can within the context of being as fully Christian a man as he can. The former is his identity, the latter is the filter through which that identity can function to the benefit of his people. In other words, Caleb's choices and his reactions to those choices are clear manifestations of the work's thematic interest in the struggles faced by individuals to define individual identity; in particular, finding the balance between what internal drives dictate and what external circumstances demand.

1. Discuss, in depth, the conflict between Caleb's native culture and the Christian religion. Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

2. How do you think Caleb's choices and his reactions portrays the them of identity? Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

3. Do you think the balance between internal drives and external circumstances is universal to the human race? Why or why not? Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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