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 triggered by the inlaid box in Bethia's possession?

2. Why does Bethia take on a position as housekeeper in another college?

3. Why is Bethia relieved as they are leaving?

4. What is wrong with Anne?

5. What do Bethia and Makepeace do every day?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is surprising about Mayfield's will?

4. What happens to Joel on his way to the mainland?

5. What does Samuel confess to Bethia?

6. What is Smauel Corlett like?

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

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

9. Why does Bethia tell Caleb to stop calling her Storm Eyes?

10. Describe a little about Anne's life.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

An important symbolic element is the treatment of the whale, which can clearly be seen as a metaphor for the (exploitation? spiritual gutting?) of natives by whites that takes place throughout the novel. It might not be going too far, in fact, to suggest that the treatment of the whale is a metaphorical foreshadowing of how Caleb, Joel, and perhaps even Bethia herself, are treated by the white, educated, Christian men whose attitudes and beliefs define their lives. Granted, there are white people (Pastor Mayfield, the soon to be introduced Merry family) who treat the natives they encounter with a degree of respect. But the book clearly portrays these people and their views/actions as in the minority, perhaps as an overall authorial commentary on how white imperialist and/or capitalist Christianity overwhelmed goodwill and humanism on a number of levels.

1. Discuss the whale in view of the above statement, using your own thoughts and words. Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

2. Discuss the concept of prejudice in light of the above statement. Include in your discussion thoughts on prejudice in present America. Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

3. Discuss what you think is made by the statement: The book clearly portrays these people and their views/actions as in the minority, perhaps as an overall authorial commentary on how white imperialist and/or capitalist Christianity overwhelmed goodwill and humanism on a number of levels. Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Caleb's Crossing is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

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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