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. Where is Anita when some black Volkswagons appear?

2. What is Anita's response to the answer Chucha gives her about her cousins?

3. Why are the students unsettled about the visitors to the classroom?

4. What does Anita realize when she looks inside?

5. What was Tio Tony involved in that makes him a wanted man?

Short Essay Questions

1. The morning after Chucha moves in, who arrives at the compound after Anita's father leaves?

2. What does Chucha reply when Anita asks about seeing her cousins again, and how does Anita feel about the answer?

3. How does Anita's mother talk to her for the first time?

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

5. What are Carla and her siblings told to do when they get home, and what does Carla do?

6. What do Anita and Chucha see at Toni's house and what does Chucha tell Anita?

7. What does Mami ask Anita not to do?

8. How does Anita feel when Oscar comes over to play with Sammy?

9. Why is Anita spending more time in the bathroom?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of the reader? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as "Before We Were Free" help a reader know himself or herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading "Before We Were Free"? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in "Before We Were Free." Discuss one of the character's responses and compare it to how you think you would respond in the same situation.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Judge whether "Before We Were Free" is a successful novel based on the characteristics of a successful novel that you identified. Fully discuss the reasons for your judgment.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if the novel is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Do you think that most adults would consider "Before We Were Free" a successful novel? What about young teens?

(see the answer keys)

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