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 long has Anita been out of school?

2. Where is Tio Tony?

3. What is decided about Susie's birthday?

4. What does Mami tell Anita and Carla to make them feel better?

5. Where is the setting of the school?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What do Anita's diary entries for June 3, and June 5, 1961, say?

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

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

6. How does Mami feel about the Washburns living next door and what does she do because of that?

7. Why can't Anita stay with Lucinda until Lucinda leaves?

8. How does Antia compare American elections to those of her country?

9. Who comes into the classroom and what does the teacher do?

10. What does Anita write about their rescue from the compound?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Julia Alvarez.

2. What in Alvarez's background may have helped her in writing "Before We Were Free"? What may have influenced the way she depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his or her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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