The Midwife's Apprentice Questions and Answers

The Midwife's Apprentice

At the time when the story is set—the Middle Ages—belief in the literal existence of the devil was widespread. It's no exaggeration to say that medieval folk believed that Satan was everywhere,...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2019, 8:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The first activity that was revealed by the presence of the strange footprints was the miller, "caught in the act of putting some of Dick's granny's grain into his own sacks". Since the theft was...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2009, 3:08 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Let me start with the genre. It's probably best described as children's historical fiction. It's accurate to a time period, but the characters are not actual historical figures. The children's part...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2015, 11:09 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife’s Apprentice tells the story of Brat, a young homeless girl living in the streets in medieval England, stealing food, sleeping in alleys, and surviving as best she can. One day, the...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2018, 3:51 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Midwife's Apprentice

Alyce saves Will Russet, the village bully boy, from drowning. This is somewhat ironic given that Will's forever picking on her. But Alyce has a good heart, and she's not about to see harm come to...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2019, 11:53 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

In the beginning of chapter 11, Alyce feels conflicted about her inclinations. She is torn between her usual habit of deferring to her employer and her burning desire to distinguish herself as a...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2017, 4:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The midwife sent Beetle into the woods to collect items for her. Beetle "gathered honey, trapped birds, and collected herbs, leeches, and spider's webs" (The Midwife's Apprentice, pages 12-13)....

Latest answer posted July 30, 2016, 10:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The villagers yell at Beetle because they are angry at the Midwife. Since they need the Midwife's services, they take out their ire on her little apprentice, Beetle. The Midwife is a greedy woman...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2009, 8:11 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife's Apprentice is set in medieval England, most likely during the late thirteenth or early fourteenth centuries. The time period is not explicitly stated, but the author gives the reader...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2010, 1:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

An example of a conflict in the story is the conflict between Jane and Alyce about Alyce training to be a midwife. Jane adopts Alice from the dung heap, but does not necessarily want to train her....

Latest answer posted October 15, 2013, 5:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Alyce goes through some dramatic changes throughout the story. She is definitely a dynamic character, and her names are as dynamic as she is. What's interesting about her names is that Alyce never...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2016, 2:39 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife's Apprentice, written by Karen Cushman, is set in England during the Medieval Period-- sometime during the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. The book offers a vivid...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2016, 11:01 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Jane, the midwife, saves "Brat", the young girl at the beginning of the story, from boys who are taunting the young girl for sleeping in a dung heap. Jane is a greedy, proud woman who shows little...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2007, 2:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Beetle is resilient and resourceful. As long as she could remember, she "had lived on her own by what means she could - stealing an onion here or helping with the harvest there in exchange for a...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2009, 2:43 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

No, Alyce is not the protagonist and antagonist at the same time. Alyce is the protagonist of The Midwife's Apprentice. An antagonist is a character that stands opposed to or in conflict with the...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2016, 9:30 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Although she's often called a "lackwit fool" by others, Alyce is actually rather an intelligent young lady. Alyce may be illiterate as with most people at that time, and she may be an abandoned...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2018, 6:41 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Beetle, later to be Alyce, does not stay outside the cottages for the birth of each new baby by her own choosing. Given the chance, Alyce would definitely be inside observing the birth and helping...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2020, 4:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The answer to your question can be found in chapter one. The girl, known as Brat at this point in the book, is alone and homeless. She is hungry, and she is cold. Her clothes offer her little to...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2016, 2:09 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Toward the end of the book, a woman who is about to give birth asks for Alyce instead of the normal midwife, Jane. Unfortunately for Alyce, the birth is a difficult one, and she is not able to do...

Latest answer posted August 13, 2016, 6:12 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Before Beetle became the midwife's apprentice, she was homeless. She was an orphan with no known family. The girl did not even know her real name. She had been called Brat, so she went by that...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2016, 7:32 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

It takes many years for Alyce to have any self-esteem, but slowly, she is able to gain some self-esteem and confidence in her abilities as a midwife. She does encounter some "failures,"...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2008, 12:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Alyce shows personal growth throughout the entire book. For me though, there is one specific location where I see significant growth for Alyce. The time is when Alyce actually takes on the...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2016, 1:48 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Like the vast majority of people in medieval England, Alyce cannot read or write. Even most wealthy nobles and monarchs were illiterate, as reading and writing were activities largely confined to...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2020, 11:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The protagonist is twelve or thirteen at the beginning, wandering the streets, and we only know her as Brat. A midwife, Jane, offers to feed her in exchange for work, and she changes her name to...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2007, 4:02 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

On one cold November morning, Alyce heads out to the cowshed to feed Tansy's twin calves, Baldred and Billfrith. While there, she notices a little boy fast asleep in the straw close to Tansy. It's...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2019, 8:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The following excerpt was taken directly from enotes: This emotional engagement is deeper than just the response to a colorful tale well-told; it is enriched because the novel illuminates...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2007, 11:23 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Alyce is fed up with being treated like dirt by the villagers, so she sets out to teach them a valuable lesson in respect by playing an elaborate prank upon them. She does this by carving hoof...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2020, 11:53 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

We've almost reached the end of chapter 6. The village bully, a boy by the name of Will Russet, has been mercilessly teasing Alyce again, calling her a dung beetle. Will has been giving Alyce a lot...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2019, 10:46 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The first name applied to the girl in Karen Cushman’s novel is Brat. This is not the girl’s actual name; the girl’s true name is a mystery, so she goes by Brat. The name reflects the girl’s lowly...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2021, 5:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The protagonist in a story is the main character who is in conflict with the antagonist, another character or force in the story. Alyce, the apprentice, is the protagonist, and she faces several...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2008, 5:33 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The cat plays a number of roles in Beetle's first weeks in the village. Its existence is first of all a kind of mirror of Beetle's. Both are homeless and on their own, and both are tormented,...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2009, 10:24 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife's Apprentice is a story of perseverance and hard work. It begins by introducing readers to a girl that is homeless and sleeping on dung piles. Jane will take her in, but that gesture is...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2020, 4:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Of all of those characters, I think Jane Sharp has the biggest impact on transforming Alyce and helping her find her place in the world. Prior to meeting Jane Sharp, Alyce was a homeless beggar...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2019, 11:38 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Jane is a bit of a jerk. She is the only midwife in the village, so this allows her to raise her service fees, because she has no competition. She is gouging her customers and there is nothing...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2015, 2:49 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The answer to this question can be found early in the book. Look in chapter two, which is titled "The Cat." The chapter begins explaining to readers that Beetle (later to be Alyce) liked to watch...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2020, 4:06 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Alyce and Runt have quite a lot in common. For one thing, they both have no family. Alyce was abandoned by her family, whereas poor little Runt is an orphan. Nowadays, we have social services...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2021, 11:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife's Apprentice is set in medieval England, and the realities of life in a small English village during that period of time contribute to the mood and tone of the story in many ways. Even...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2016, 6:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

I would probably argue that Alyce is exactly what Jane needed in an apprentice; however, Alyce is exactly what Jane did not want in an apprentice. Alyce is a motivated young lady. She wants to...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2016, 7:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Jane, the wicked midwife, is shouting at poor Beetle again. Having lost another one of her few remaining teeth and having also broken her ankle, the old crone is in a foul mood, and she throws...

Latest answer posted June 14, 2018, 1:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

A flashback is a literary device where an author describes past events in the present. There is a flashback on the second page of Chapter 1, when Brat, who in the present is "twelve or...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2008, 1:32 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Beetle (later Alyce) seemed to have no one to talk to and no one to care for. As she talks to the cat, the reader understands her fear of others and her feeling of being a nothing. When she saved...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2010, 9:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Two important settings from the novel were the dung heap and Jane's cottage. When the story began, Alyce was a homeless girl who found warmth in a dung heap. This setting was a place where...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2016, 7:10 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

I believe you may be referring to Magister Reese who teaches Alyce to read and write. At first, he pretends to teach her cat, Purr, because he sees how shy and isolated Alyce is. The second visitor...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2007, 7:53 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Brat, a.k.a Beetle, is the protagonist of the story. She doesn't know how old she is, but it seems that she is twelve or thirteen; in fact, Brat doesn't know anything about herself, not even her...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2019, 2:35 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

This question has been answered. Please see the link below:

Latest answer posted March 10, 2008, 2:35 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

Alyce shows herself to be smart by quickly picking up the rudiments of midwifery. Not everyone can be a midwife, but Alyce shows herself more than capable of mastering this age-old profession....

Latest answer posted October 16, 2019, 5:07 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

At first, the midwife treats Beetle (naming the young girl for a dung beetle because she was found sleeping in a pile of manure for warmth, just as the insect does) as if she were stupid low-life....

Latest answer posted April 19, 2010, 5:44 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The focus of similarities between Cushman's work and the modern setting revolves around identity formation in young people. Alyce's challenges, definition, and redefinition of self is a part of...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2009, 4:44 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife sees Beetle as free labor, someone of whom she can take advantage to take care of the more odious and mundane aspects of her livelihood. She has no idea of how intelligent and...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2009, 7:34 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Midwife's Apprentice

I am going to assume that this question is asking about Alyce's return to Jane Sharp in the final chapter of the book. Alyce has returned to the village and Jane thinking that Jane is going to...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2019, 5:06 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Showing 1-50 of 56