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

2. He comes to town alone, speaking of having done what?

3. Why is Azaka mad?

4. Often this way of thinking can lead a Haitian woman into what?

5. Who is Manman Marasa?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Alourdes' purpose for arranging the 'manje pov?'

2. What does the author say is the purpose of every other chapter in the book? What does this reveal about the author's role in writing these chapters?

3. What is made clear in this chapter that we as Americans often fail to understand?

4. Why is oral tradition important in this culture?

5. How is Marie Claire significant?

6. Describe Vodou rituals and ceremonies as a whole. Give an example from this chapter that supports this.

7. What other imagery is used in this chapter? How does it affect the reader? What message does this imagery send?

8. What is the connection between one's power and the will of the spirits in the world of Vodou?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The women in this culture are very strong.

Part 1) Describe Haitian women. How do they compare to women of other cultures? Why might these similarities and differences exist?

Part 2) How do Haitian women compare to Haitian men? Why are their roles designated in this way How do these gender roles compare to other cultures?

Part 3) How have the roles of women changed in Haiti? How does this compare to the changes of how women are viewed in other parts of the world today?

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

Karen's involvement in Vodou develops throughout this book.

Part 1) Describe Karen's involvement in Vodou at the beginning of this book? What has drawn her to Mama Lola and the subject of Vodou?

Part 2) How do her feelings regarding Vodou change over the course of the book? What causes these changes? How does this in turn change significant aspects of Karen's life and beliefs?

Part 3) What were your original beliefs regarding Vodou prior to reading this book? How did your views change over the course of reading this book? What led to these changes? How might these changes affect your beliefs regarding other religions and beliefs?

(see the answer keys)

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