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 Samuel to do at the school endowed by John Harvard?

2. With whom does Bethia talk about Samuel and Noah?

3. One is one adjective with which Bethia describes Samuel Corlett?

4. What future does Tequamuck see for his people?

5. When did Anne's parents die?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Describe a little about Anne's life.

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

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

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

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

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

Caleb's actions in Chapter 7 can clearly be seen as an important component of his overall journey and intention - to be as fully native a man as he can within the context of being as fully Christian a man as he can. The former is his identity, the latter is the filter through which that identity can function to the benefit of his people. In other words, Caleb's choices and his reactions to those choices are clear manifestations of the work's thematic interest in the struggles faced by individuals to define individual identity; in particular, finding the balance between what internal drives dictate and what external circumstances demand.

1. Discuss, in depth, the conflict between Caleb's native culture and the Christian religion. Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

2. How do you think Caleb's choices and his reactions portrays the them of identity? Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

3. Do you think the balance between internal drives and external circumstances is universal to the human race? Why or why not? Use examples from your life and Caleb's Crossing to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Caleb's Crossing. Questions that Brooks most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Brooks' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Brooks' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Brooks and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

(see the answer keys)

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