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. Why is Bethia sad?

2. What is never mentioned in commencement?

3. For what does Master Corlett's in Cambridge say they will allow Joel, Makepeace, and Caleb free attendance?

4. What does Bethia believe she feels for Caleb?

5. What surprises everyone when Mayfield's will is read?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Bethia say about her marriage to Samuel and their trip to Italy?

3. What is surprising about Mayfield's will?

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

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

6. What does Samuel confess to Bethia?

7. How has Makepeace arranged to buy Bethia out of her indenture?

8. What are a couple things Bethia does during her first days at the school?

9. What does Mayfield's will say about further schooling for Joel, Caleb and Makepeace and how does that affect Bethia?

10. Describe the argument Bethia and Makepeace become embroiled in one day at the memorial for their father.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. Who is/are the protagonists of the story and why?

2. Who is/are the antagonists of the story and why?

3. Which 3 secondary characters have the greatest impact on the plot?

4. Are any of the characters dispensable and which ones? Why or why not?

5. Do you think this is a character-driven plot or an action-driven plot? Explain.

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

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Geraldine Brooks.

2. What in Brooks's background may have helped her in writing Caleb's Crossing? What may have influenced the way she depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

(see the answer keys)

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