Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Karen McCarthy Brown
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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. Azaka goes about his business first, settling outstanding loans from what, and then selling the goods from his altar to the guests?

2. Macena believes that the spirits, like his wife, are there to do what?

3. McCarthy Brown recounts in this chapter a trip she and Alourdes make together in ________ to Haiti.

4. Does Joseph Binbin Mauvant like Macena?

5. What is the beaded rattle used to leverage the spirit world?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe a metaphor that can be found in this chapter. How is this interesting?

2. What do most Americans think of "voodoo?"

3. Why is a manbo especially important in Haiti during the present time?

4. How does one feel regarding Karen? Is it easy to sympathize with her? Why or why not?

5. How is Mama Lola affected by the needs of these spirits? What are the end results of her actions?

6. What is revealed about the relationship between Mama Lola and the spirits in this chapter? How is this relationship important?

7. How might oral traditions be difficult for the reader?

8. How does jealousy affect the plot of this story?

9. What contrast is discussed in this chapter? Describe this contrast.

10. How do Alourdes and Maggie feel in American culture? Should they feel this way? Why or why not?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jealousy is a theme.

Part 1) Describe jealousy as it is found in this book? How is jealousy a theme? How does jealousy affect the lives of the characters in this book and in the lives of Haitians in general?

Part 2) How frequently are you jealous? Is jealousy a concern in the U.S. as it is in Haiti? Why or why not?

Part 3) What are two other themes found in this book? Describe these themes. How are they tied to the book and to each other?

Essay Topic 2

The roles of men and women are very different in Haitian culture.

Part 1) Describe the roles of men and women in Haitian culture. How are these roles revealed throughout this book? How is Vodou connected to these roles?

Part 2) How does this explain and reinforce the strength of the women in Alourdes' family? How might it also play a part in drawing Karen into Haitian and Vodou culture?

Part 3) What are the roles of men and women in your own culture? How have these roles come about? How do they compare to the roles in Haitian culture?

Essay Topic 3

Karen and Alourdes are greeted in Haiti with a mix of fascination and expectation.

Part 1) Describe Alourdes and Karen's trip to Haiti. Why are they greeted in this way? What does this reveal about Karen, Alourdes, and the Haitian people?

Part 2) How does this greeting to one's greeting upon arriving in a community in the U.S.? Why would these similarities and/or differences exist?

Part 3) How might you be greeted in Haiti? Why might you be greeted in this way? How are people greeted in this way? How are people greeted into various countries and cultures around the world? Why do these differences exist? How do these differences reflect the relationships between various groups of people?

(see the answer keys)

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