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. What does Rodriguez say he gains because of learning to speak English?

2. What does Rodriguez start to believe about intimate conversations?

3. How does the family's use of the word "gringo" change as the children learn more English?

4. How well can Rodriguez speak English when he starts school?

5. How does Rodriguez feel when he observes the group of black teenagers on the bus?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Rodriguez handle applying for teaching positions?

2. How would Rodriguez change affirmative action? What examples does he offer to support his suggestion?

3. How do Rodriguez's ideas about dark skin change as he grows up? Give specific examples.

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

5. Rodriguez finds a description in THE USES OF LITERACY that reminds him of himself. What is that description?

6. How does Rodriguez use the label "minority student"? How does he feel about it? Give specific reasons why he feels that way.

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

8. What is Rodriguez's initial attitude about reading? What happens to him because of that attitude? What do his parents think about reading?

9. How do Rodriguez's ideas about religion change as he grows up? How does his practice of religion change?

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

Essay 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

Rodriguez talks a lot about the difference between public and private language.

Part One: How does he define the difference between public and private language? Analyze what he is saying - don't just say that his public language is English and his private language is Spanish. What really defines the differences between the two types of language?

Part Two: Do people have to be bilingual to have a private language? Why or why not? Use examples from the book to support your argument.

Part Three: Are there times when two characters are speaking the same language but not really communicating or understanding each other? What does that say about private and public language?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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