Before We Were Free Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. How many men in dark glasses are in the Volkswagons?

2. What does Anita learn about their new housekeeper?

3. What is Anita inclined to say about Oscar's comments about the country?

4. What does the teacher tell Anita to do?

5. What is significant about Anita's family?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Anita realize when she writes in her diary?

2. How does Chucha help Anita and what does Chucha tell her?

3. Why does Anita use a pencil in her journal?

4. How does Anita begin to see their leader in a different light?

5. What does Anita overhear her father say about the Washburns?

6. How does Mrs. Mancini's distrust of people turn out to be fortuitous?

7. What does Papi and the Washburns decide to do about Lucinda?

8. What does Papi explain to Anita about Carla when Anita gets home?

9. What do the children do after the American school is closed and how do they get to school?

10. What does Mami say about why the family is staying in the country?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an important part of what makes "Before We Were Free" interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly discuss and analyze Anita. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Chucha. What are her strengths? Her weaknesses? How does she contribute to the plot? Is she a sympathetic character? Is she ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Sam. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

4. Thoroughly discuss and analyze the character of Oscar. What are his strengths? His weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he ever likable? Never likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in "Before We Were Free." Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of courage in "Before We Were Free." Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of freedom in Before We Were Free. Who is free at the beginning of "Before We Were Free"? Who is free by the end of of the novel? What price was paid for freedom? What types of freedom besides physical freedom are implied?

Essay Topic 3

Many novels, perhaps a majority of novels, end on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "Before We Were Free "and whether or not it fulfills all three, two, or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why "Before We Were Free" is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction (no matter how poorly written) enlighten, teach, or stimulate thought? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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