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 Takemmy?

2. What does Bethia wonder about Caleb?

3. Why do the Manitouwatootan move closer to Bethia's community?

4. What does Tequamuck do with a gourd?

5. Where is Solace found?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What is Bethia listening to as she lies in her bed?

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

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Geraldine Brooks.

2. What in Brooks's background may have helped her in writing Caleb's Crossing? What may have influenced the way she depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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