Crossing the River Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. How many conversions to Christianity is Nash responsible for?

2. How did Martha's boyfriend acquire his home?

3. What does Edward think of Nash's request for assistance?

4. Who is Martha's master/owner when she is with her first husband?

5. How do the Hoffmans intend to finance their travel?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where did Nash Williams first settle in Africa, and what did he do there?

2. Describe the relation between Madison Williams and Edward Williams.

3. What happens to Martha's boyfriend?

4. How is Nash treated by white men in Monrovia, Liberia?

5. How did Madison Williams get emancipated?

6. What group of people make up most of Martha's business while she is in Kansas?

7. How does Martha come to run a restaurant in Dodge City?

8. What happens to the relationship between Nash and his natural mother?

9. How did Chester acquire his home?

10. What happens to most of the letters that Nash Williams writes to Edward Wiliams?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Caryl Phillips writes "West" in such a way that is not accusatory of the white characters for their actions in the story concerning the treatment of blacks, and he does this by showing how they must have realistically thought of their actions, using points of view that show their ignorance. Discuss the intentions and point of view of one or more of the white characters. Focus on the idea of ignorance and how most of that seems to come out of the naivete of white people at the time. What do you think of the woman's attempt to assist Martha? Was she helping her to make herself feel less guilty about the immoral way blacks are treated or did she sincerely seek to help Martha? Why is the fact that she does not know Martha's name significant?

Essay Topic 2

Each character in "The Pagan Coast," such as the American Colonization Society and Madison, represents a perspective or theme of the time period. For example, Edward represents the white Christian's perspective of a person who owns slaves, yet pities them, so he tries to bring them up to his level by teaching them white civility. Explore two characters' perspectives or themes that they present in the story. Make sure your answer analyzes them in detail, providing evidence through the use of examples found in the story.

Essay Topic 3

In "West," Martha endures significant hardships, but she finds hope in different places. Describe three hardships that Martha has endured, and explain how she endured them. Where did Martha find hope? What gave her solace during these different obstacles?

(see the answer keys)

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