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 Tequamuck do with a gourd?

2. What does Bethia's father say about Bethia learning too much?

3. Who is Tequamuck?

4. What does Bethia say she will continue to do?

5. What does Bethia and the rest of the family do?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Bethia say is the reason for the tension between her father and Makepeace, and why is it strange that they are upset with each other?

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

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

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

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

8. What is Smauel Corlett like?

9. What does Bethia say about Caleb and Joel regarding their studies?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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