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. As Rodriguez reaches the end of his education, what does he have to confront?

2. What is Rodriguez told about reading the Bible?

3. In Aria, Chapter 3, why does Rodriguez's family tease him?

4. What does Rodriguez wonder about his parents and his education?

5. How does Rodriguez describe the sound of English?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Rodriguez say about how bilingual education affects the intersection of public and private languages?

2. What conflicting messages does Rodriguez's father give him about getting an education?

3. Is Rodriguez prepared for his first day of school? Why or why not?

4. How does Rodriguez describe himself as a student?

5. How does learning to speak English change Rodriguez's mother? His father?

6. How does Rodriguez respond when people ask him how he was successful in school? Is his answer completely honest? Why or why not?

7. What does Rodriguez discover about language and intimacy? What family member helps him to figure that out?

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

9. Why does the Rodriguez family tease Richard? What do they call him?

10. What does Rodriguez identify as the pros and cons of bilingual education?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Rodriguez clearly sees books as something powerful and potentially dangerous. Early on in the book, Rodriguez describes himself as being afraid to learn to read because he was aware of the power of books. Later, he describes his mother asking him what was in all those books and why he needed to read all of them. At the end of the book, he describes his nephew, who is reading, as someone who may cause trouble.

Part One: What has happened in his life to lead him to that conclusion? Give specific examples.

Part Two: Do you think other people in the book would agree with his conclusion? Why or why not? Give specific examples.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Every book has flat and round characters. A flat character is two-dimensional, someone who serves a purpose in the book but does not seem like a living, breathing person. A round character is one who is fully developed and seems like a real person. If you read a story about a boyfriend and girlfriend eating dinner at a restaurant, the boyfriend and girlfriend will be round characters. The people at the next table or the waiter who serves them their food are probably flat characters.

Part One: Besides Richard Rodriguez, which characters in this book are round? In other words, which ones have fully developed characteristics and identities? Which ones do you feel like you really know? How big a role do these characters play in the book?

Part Two: Which characters are flat or two-dimensional? Do not try to list all of them, but pick out at least four characters that serve an important purpose, but still do not get fully developed. For example, how well developed is the priest who comes to visit? Or the group of black teenagers on the bus?

Part Three: Think as the author for a moment. Why did Rodriguez choose to make some important characters flat? Why did Rodriguez choose to make other important characters round? What does that say about the character or Rodriguez's relationship with the character?

(see the answer keys)

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