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 do when she sees Tequamuck lying in a trance?

2. What has Caleb been doing the next morning when Bethia encounters him?

3. With whom is Bethia's father arguing?

4. What does Tequamuck do with a gourd?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. How do Caleb and Joel do on their entrance exams?

6. What does Samuel confess to Bethia?

7. What is Smauel Corlett like?

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

9. What frustrates Bethia about her life and choices available to her?

10. What does Bethia do that she attributes to Satan's influence and what are the consequences?

Essay 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

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

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Caleb's Crossing. Questions that Brooks most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Brooks' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Brooks' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Brooks and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

(see the answer keys)

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