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. When does Bethia's twin brother die?

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

3. How does Caleb treat the book Bethia is reading?

4. What does Caleb's "real" name mean?

5. What is Bethia's father doing with the Wampanoag?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What happens to Bethia's sister Solace?

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

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

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

9. How does Bethia describe her life in Cambridge?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of Caleb's Crossing, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in Caleb's Crossing. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Bethia and Caleb. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Caleb and Joel. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in Caleb's Crossing help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

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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