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 is Bethia's father doing with the Wampanoag?

2. What does Tequamuck do with a gourd?

3. Why does Bethia's father choose some particular passages from the Bible to read when Caleb is introduced?

4. What does Bethia suddenly discover?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What does Bethia say about Caleb in this first section?

6. What does Bethia's say is her current situation when this section opens and why is she going to continue writing?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Characters are an important part of what makes Caleb's Crossing interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Caleb. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he always likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Bethia. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Pastor Mayfield. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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