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 at first consider outlandish about what Caleb tells her?

2. What happens when a whale strands itself on the beach?

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

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

5. Who interferes in the sonquem's request?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Noah show Bethia the next morning and what is her reaction?

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

3. What does Bethia do in order to help Caleb when he is dying?

4. When and how does Bethia's father introduce Caleb to the White settlement?

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

6. What is the time frame when Chapter 1 of this section opens and why is Bethia writing again?

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

8. Why has Noah Merry come to Cambridge and what news does he bring?

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

10. How does Bethia feel about Solace?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in Caleb's Crossing.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of Caleb's Crossing. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of Caleb's Crossing. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

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

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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