Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez 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. What comment from a professor makes Rodriguez rethink his use of the label "minority student"?

2. What does Rodriguez think about how the meaning of a person's complexion has changed?

3. According to Rodriguez's family, how are men supposed to be?

4. What does Rodriguez have to face in order to write the book?

5. What example does Rodriguez offer of a program that can help minority students?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Rodriguez handle applying for teaching positions?

2. As a child, what does Rodriguez learn about dark skin?

3. How does Rodriguez explain psychiatry to his mother? Does she understand? Why or why not? How does that discussion connect to his book and what he is willing to tell her about the book?

4. Rodriguez looks at the students of the 1960s and 1970s from a teacher's perspective. What does he see as the difference between them?

5. As more minority students attend college, what does Rodriguez notice about their relationship to their culture? Give specific examples.

6. What does Rodriguez think about the Civil Rights Movement?

7. What does Rodriguez learn from working with the construction workers? Give two specific examples.

8. Now that he is older, how do people respond to Rodriguez's skin color?

9. As a teacher, how does Rodriguez interact with these other minority students? Why does he act that way?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Rodriguez claims that it is his education that made him successful. That is the reason he is writing this history of his education.

Part One: Find examples that prove his point. How is the person he is today a result of getting a good education?

Part Two: Find examples that disprove his point. What other advantages does he have (for example, where he lives, people he knows, personal characteristics) that could have led him to be successful even without a great education?

Part Three: Decide for yourself -- did Rodriguez's education make him successful? Explain your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Rodriguez is told that men behave in one way and women behave in another way. He is embarrassed because based on those standards, he acts more like a woman than a man.

Part One: How does Rodriguez's family define male and female behavior? Why do you think they have those opinions?

Part Two: Do the characters in the book follow those guidelines for male and female behavior? What happens to characters who do not follow the guidelines? What happens to characters who do follow the guidelines? What is Rodriguez saying about gender roles?

(see the answer keys)

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