Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn Test | Final 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 this Karen's decision?

2. In time, the two become friends, and she tells him what story?

3. What does Philo not want to do?

4. How do they know this illness is a sure sign of illness caused by the spirits?

5. According to the Vodou philosophy, the world is a precarious place, and it is naïve to think what?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Philo feel about Alourdes? Why might she feel this way?

2. Who does Aunt Emma represent? Why is this important?

3. Why do the initiates do the answer to number 55 in the cemetery?

4. What is one of the best stories in this chapter? Why?

5. What is Alourdes' response regarding Catholic priests? What does this reveal about Haitians?

6. How is the similarity described in number 45 significant?

7. What is the purpose of the Ezili spirits?

8. What is one of the most important lessons learned about the practice of Vodou from reading this book? How is Karen's involvement in Mama Lola's story important to most readers of this book?

9. What story takes place regarding Alourdes in the previous chapter? How is this related to this chapter?

10. What does this chapter reiterate about the responsibility of serving the spirits?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The life of a Manbo is difficult.

Part 1) Describe the life of a manbo. How is it a part of Alourdes' family history? How has it affected her family? Is this good or bad? Why?

Part 2) How has the role of the manbo become increasingly necessary in Haitian culture? How does this affect Alourdes and other manbos? What does this also do to Vodou and its importance in Haitian culture?

Part 3) How have changes in our own culture led to more or less emphasis on religion? How is this seen in other cultures as well?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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