Caleb's Crossing Test | Final 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 never mentioned in commencement?

2. With what does Caleb help Bethia?

3. What does Samuel ask Bethia when they are alone?

4. How do Samuel and Bethia manage to travel to Italy for his medical studies?

5. What does Samuel bring to his first meeting with Bethia?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are arrangements made for Joel to return to Cambridge before the others from the island?

2. Why is Samuel's marriage proposal to Bethia interrupted, and what how does Bethia handle the situation.

3. What does Samuel confess to Bethia?

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

5. What is surprising about Mayfield's will?

6. Why is Caleb still disturbed about the situation with Anne and what does he do?

7. Describe a little about Anne's life.

8. What is Smauel Corlett like?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Caleb's Crossing belongs to the historical novel genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the historical novel genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a historical novel and a fantasy?

Essay Topic 2

The situation of Bethia agreeing to become an indentured servant is a narrative opportunity for the author to explore one of the work's key themes, the relationship between sin, redemption and rebirth. Bethia continually and repeatedly strives to redeem herself for what she sees as her sinful choices and feelings, but over the course of the narrative, seems less and less inclined to believe that what she actually has done is a sin.

1. Discuss the ways in which Bethia's belief about sin changes from when she is a girl to when she is an older woman. Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

2. Do you think that Bethia's need to redeem herself is a pathological response induced by a harsh religion? Why or why not? Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

3. How do you think changing her views on sin might change Bethia's life? Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

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).

(see the answer keys)

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