Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez 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. In The Achievement of Desire, Chapter 4, what is Rodriguez afraid to admit?

2. What does Rodriguez say is the real reason for his success?

3. How is the "scholarship boy" described?

4. As Rodriguez moves into college and graduate school, how does his relationship with his parents change?

5. What does Rodriguez's family call him?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Rodriguez describe himself as a student?

2. How does Rodriguez view his parents' use of English?

3. What is special or different about the school Rodriguez attends? How does that affect him later in life?

4. What does Rodriguez describe as the differences between Mexican Catholicism and English Catholicism? Identify two characteristics of each.

5. How do Catholic rituals become a part of Rodriguez's life? Which rituals does he describe?

6. Rodriguez's family continues to speak to him in Spanish. What does that suggest about what they think about the value of Spanish?

7. Rodriguez is trained in Catholic ideas and rituals at a young age. What does this do to his understanding of other religious beliefs and practices?

8. How does Rodriguez describe each language (Spanish and English) differently?

9. Once Rodriguez starts to read, what happens?

10. How does Rodriguez feel as his education comes to an end?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Part One: Compare and contrast Rodriguez's childhood view of religion and his adult view of religion.

Part Two: Rodriguez acknowledges that the church itself changed some of its practices as he grew up. What effect did that have on his decision to stay Catholic? Did it encourage him to re-evaluate his religious beliefs and practices?

Essay Topic 2

Rodriguez repeatedly describes his experience of moving from a small, sheltered, or narrow world to a larger, less protected, more broad-minded world as he grows up. As he grows up, his views change on:

1) Skin color

2) Religion

3) The importance of language as a way to develop intimacy

4) Books

Choose at least two of those. Identify what Rodriguez's original opinion or idea was, what he later starts to believe, and what events in his life led him to change his perspective.

Essay Topic 3

Rodriguez's attitude about complexion was affected by the "Black is Beautiful" movement. This movement preached that people should accept themselves for who they are rather than trying to match a specific idealized image. At that time, the idealized image was inevitably the image of a white person, which made it difficult for non-whites to see themselves as beautiful.

Part One: What was Rodriguez's attitude about his complexion as a child? What did the people around him say about his complexion?

Part Two: Besides the "Black is Beautiful" movement, what other things changed Rodriguez's attitude about his complexion? How did his attitude change? What do the people around him say about his skin color now that he is an adult?

(see the answer keys)

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