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 is Bethia's father arguing?

2. Who berates Bathia for her absence when she returns to the beach?

3. What does Bethia suddenly discover?

4. On what does is Caleb introduced to the community?

5. When did Bethia's mother die?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Caleb place in Solace's casket?

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

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

5. What does Bethia say about Caleb's progress with the English language?

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

7. What happens when Bethia returns to where the Wampanoag are dancing?

8. How does Bethia describe her life in Cambridge?

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

10. How does Mayfield act in the aftermath of Solace's death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Caleb's Crossing and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Caleb's Crossing is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

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

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think Caleb's Crossing is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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