Caleb's Crossing Test | Final Test - Hard

Geraldine Brooks
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is never mentioned in commencement?

2. What happens in the early part of Bethia's one year at Harvard College?

3. What does Caleb sing?

4. Whom does Bethia have to listen to when they get to the college?

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

Essay 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

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in Caleb's Crossing. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of culture and religion in Caleb's Crossing. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to be able to meld their culture and their religion? What about how religion influences culture?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death in Caleb's Crossing. What types of deaths besides physical are portrayed in Caleb's Crossing? How does death change the lives of the characters, especially Bethia?

4. Trace and analyze the theme of sin and redemption in Caleb's Crossing. Who believes sin is real? Who does not? How does sin in a character's beliefs coincide with guilt? What characters considers herself/himself sinful?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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