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 his mother think about his reading?

2. What does Rodriguez learn about sin?

3. Where do Rodriguez's parents speak Spanish and where do they speak English?

4. How does Rodriguez describe himself as a child?

5. How does Rodriguez describe himself now?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Beyond the simple accomplishment of learning another language, what importance does Rodriguez place on learning English?

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

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

5. Why is Rodriguez writing this book? Identify two reasons.

6. How does the parents' desire for a good education end up hurting their family?

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

8. What does Rodriguez identify as the symbol of how these two versions of Catholicism intersect in his life?

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

10. Once Rodriguez starts to read, what happens?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many books written by minority authors identify the discrimination, challenges, and disadvantages faced by people of that minority group or culture. Rodriguez does acknowledge some of those things, but for the most part, his story is remarkably positive about ethnicity. In some cases, he actually identifies his ethnicity as a benefit or an advantage.

Part One: Identify at least two places in the book where Rodriguez identifies some element of his ethnicity as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

Part Two: As a reader, what do you think about his handling of the ethnicity issue? Is he making things sound better than they really are? Do you think other writers might make things sound worse than they really are?

Part Three: Which approach would you rather read? Do you think your opinion has anything to do with your ethnicity or your life experience?

Essay Topic 2

Rodriguez spends a lot of time analyzing his education and how it affected him.

Part One: What lessons can a minority student draw from his story? What lessons can any student draw from his story?

Part Two: What lessons can the parent of a minority student draw from his story? What lessons can the parent of any student draw from his story?

Part Three: What lessons can the teachers of minority students draw from his story? What lessons can any teacher draw from his story?

Based on that, to what group(s) of people would you recommend this book? Why?

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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