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 Caleb do for Solace?

2. To whom does Bethia apprentice herself?

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

4. Who does Pastor Mayfield invite along?

5. What love does Bethia describe?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How does Bethia come to believe she needs to watch her father preach?

7. How does Bethia feel about Solace?

8. What happens that evening after Caleb ends his friendship with Bethia that makes Bethia believe she contributes to her mother's death?

9. Where is Bethia sent and what are the aftereffects of her drinking out of the gourd?

10. Where do Bethia's father and grandfather invite Bethia along and what is the purpose of their visit?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think Caleb's Crossing is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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