Before We Were Free Test | Final 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. Why is Mr. Washburn in New York City?

2. Who almost discovers Anita and her mama?

3. Where are Mami and Anita living according to Anita's June 5, 1961entry?

4. Where is Anita on Thanksgiving Day?

5. What does Chucha tell Anita it is time to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Anita know about a pill and what does she think about it?

2. What does Papi say he wants for his children?

3. Who are arrested in town and why?

4. Where do soldiers find El Jefe's body and who do they arrest and what do they say about Papi and Tio Toni?

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

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

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

8. What message from Chucha does Tia Mari give Anita ?

9. What happens when Mr. Washburn is driving in traffic?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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).

(see the answer keys)

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