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

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in "Before We Were Free." Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Alvarez chose the symbols she did?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Alvarez chose the metaphors she did?

3. Discuss Alvarez's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, clifthangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Alvarez use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in "Before We Were Free."

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of "Before We Were Free." How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of "Before We Were Free." How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

(see the answer keys)

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