Caleb's Crossing Test | Final Test - Hard

Geraldine Brooks
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 142 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. For whom does Bethia watch as the boat sets out for Cambridge?

2. To whom is one of the students related?

3. About what do Bethia and Makepeace argue?

4. When did Anne's parents die?

5. What happens to Joel on his way back to Cambridge?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Bethia relieved when they board a vesself for Cambridge, and how is her first day there?

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

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

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

5. What does Bethia say about the change in attitude towards Caleb and Joel by the other students?

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

7. Why do Caleb, Joel and Bethia believe they need to get Ann to the island?

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

9. What is Smauel Corlett like?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Over the course of The Maze, Bethia grows as a person in both complexity and understanding. Caleb's Crossing might be considered a slice of Bethia's larger story of her "coming of age." It might be said that Caleb's Crossing is a "bildungsroman" of Bethia. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Bethia as she changes from a more carefree, innocent girl to a wiser, older woman. What are the significant events that change Bethia?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Bethia's growth throughout Caleb's Crossing, do you think Caleb's Crossing could be considered Bethia's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other characters in Caleb's Crossing who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an important part of what makes Caleb's Crossing interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Caleb. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he always likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Bethia. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Pastor Mayfield. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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