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. Sina realizes that Macena will not leave the family compound, so she and her eldest daughter, Gloria, decide to do what?

2. This occurs right around the time when Sina must do what?

3. Why does Macena mourn bitterly?

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

5. When Karen arrives, where does she find Mama Lola?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does this culture affect men like Macena? How is Sina finally able to escape him? How does this lead to a change in her life?

3. How is Marie Claire significant?

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

5. 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?

6. Why is oral tradition important in this culture?

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

8. How does this similarity relate to their decision to take up the ason and serve the spirits?

9. What all-important concept is discussed in this chapter? Give an example.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Dreams are important in Vodou culture.

Part 1) Describe the dreams that are discussed in this book. How are they tied to Haitian Vodou culture? How are these dreams important in this culture?

Part 2) Are dreams important in our own culture? Why or why not? How does a Western interpretation of dreams compare to that of a Vodou interpretation? Why?

Part 3) What types of dreams are important to Americans? Why is this type of dreaming compare to the dreams one has during sleep? What does this reveal about our culture?

Essay Topic 3

Much of life in Vodou culture is out of the people's hands.

Part 1) Describe the role of Vodou spirits in Haitian culture. How are they important in everyday life in Haiti? How do these spirits guide Haitians in the decisions they make and the way they behave?

Part 2) Is there concrete evidence in this book that the Haitians are controlled by Vodou spirits? Explain. Are Haitians the only ones who feel their lives are guided by these spirits? Why or why not?

Part 3) Who or what guides the lives of most Americans? How does this compare to the Vodou spirits? How does this affect the lives of most Americans and our country as a whole?

(see the answer keys)

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