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. Why is Azaka mad?

2. What should Karen take?

3. This woman is a successful ____________ (market woman).

4. For how long do the ceremonies go on?

5. How old is Joseph Binbin Mauvant?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Sina's strength revealed in this chapter?

2. What is the moral of the story in this chapter? How is this a significant lesson to learn?

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

4. What does this chapter reveal about the Mauvant family and life in Haiti and in the Mauvant family compound?

5. How are vodou ideals understood? Give an example from the text that supports this. How might a modern-day American reader feel about this?

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

7. Describe Karen's understanding of Alourdes' "Queen Bee" behavior.

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

9. Why is oral tradition important in this culture?

10. What important themes in the world of Haitian Vodou are seen in this chapter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are many short, fictitious stories in this book.

Part 1) Describe two of these short stories. How is each important to the book? What do they each reveal about Haiti, Alourdes' family, and/or Vodou?

Part 2) How are these stories representatives of Haiti's oral tradition? Why is oral history so important to Alourdes' culture? How are the people of Haiti influenced by stories such as these?

Part 3) How is oral history important to other cultures around the world? How is it also a part of American culture? Why might fictitious stories be universal? Why are they created by humans?

Essay Topic 2

Many God-fearing people believe Vodou practitioners will go to hell.

Part 1) Describe a God-fearing person. How is Aunt Emma a God-fearing person? What is her purpose in this book? What does Mama Lola think about Aunt Emma and other God-fearing people? What does this say about Mama Lola and other Vodou practitioners?

Part 2) Why do many God-fearing people feel this way about Vodou practitioners? Should they feel this way? Why or why not? Mama Lola says she is a Christian. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Part 3) What are your own thoughts about those who are Christians and those who are not Christians. What are your own opinions regarding hell? Does hell exist? Should non-Christians be worried? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

There are many Vodou spirits.

Part 1) Describe four of these spirits. What is the role of each spirit in Vodou culture? How is this connected with the treatment of these spirits by Vodou practitioners?

Part 2) How do Vodou spirits influence the lives of the Haitians? Are they a powerful force in Haitian culture? Why or why not?

Part 3) What spirits or religious entities are influential in other cultures around the world? How are they influential in the U.S.?

(see the answer keys)

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