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. Who is Joseph Binbin Mauvant?

2. In ______________, Alourdes' son William, who is mentally retarded, is arrested for a purse snatching.

3. Philomise is the ________________ daughter of Marie Noelsine, the family beauty.

4. The capital earned by this career gives her leverage over what?

5. Many guests arrive for the ritual, and after ______________ to persuade the spirits to attend, Mama Lola becomes possessed by the spirit of Azaka.

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Marie Claire significant?

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

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

4. How do you feel about Karen marrying Ogou? How does this marriage change the path of Karen's life? What does this also teach her?

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

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

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

8. How is the character Jepete important?

9. What is it like being a manbo? How does Alourdes feel about this?

10. How is the legend of Joseph Binbin Mauvant important?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gede's dominon is the realm of death.

Part 1) Who is Gede? What is his role in Vodou? How important is he in Vodouism? Why? What is his connection to the other Vodou spirits?

Part 2) To whom can Gede be compared? What are the similarities and differences between Gede and this person or spirit? What do these spirits reveal about those who believe in them?

Part 3) What is the female version of Gede? How is she coming into existence? Why is she coming into existence? What does belief in her reveal about Haitian and Vodou culture?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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