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. In Mr. Secrets, Chapter 1, what does Rodriguez's mother beg him not to do?

2. What is the Third World Student Movement?

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

4. When he is a child, what do people say about Rodriguez's complexion?

5. What do the students say about Rodriguez?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Rodriguez's mother tell him about writing about their family? What does his editor tell him?

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

3. What conversation does Rodriguez have with a colleague about teaching positions? What decision does Rodriguez make as a result of that conversation?

4. What does Rodriguez think about the current system of affirmative action? Give two examples he uses to support his argument.

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

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

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

8. How does Rodriguez describe his mother's interaction with the public world? Give specific examples.

9. How do people respond to Rodriguez's skin color when he is younger?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast Rodriguez's parents, focusing on the following areas:

1) Their education

2) Their attitudes toward the "public" world

3) Their attitudes toward Richard and his education

If Rodriguez was going to try to talk to one of them about the loneliness and distance he feels from them, which one should he pick? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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