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. Why is Bethia envious of Makepeace?

3. What does Bethia do when she sees Tequamuck lying in a trance?

4. Where is Master Corlett's school?

5. With whom is Bethia's father arguing?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What are Bethia's father's plans for Caleb?

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

4. How does Caleb explain his early morning greeting to the sun god?

5. What happens to Bethia's sister Solace?

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

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

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

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

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Caleb's Crossing. Questions that Brooks most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Brooks' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Brooks' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Brooks and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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