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. Who is John Harvard?

3. What does Makepeace think is the cause of his father's death?

4. What does Samuel do when Bethia walks away from him?

5. Where is Bethia to sleep at Corlett's?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Bethia help Caleb die with peace and dignity?

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

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

4. What does Bethia say to Corlett about applying for a position at another school and what is his response?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as Caleb's Crossing help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading Caleb's Crossing? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in Caleb's Crossing to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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