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. How does Rodriguez's sister's friend challenge his ideas about complexion?

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

3. Why does Rodriguez's mother call him "Mr. Secrets"?

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

5. What changes Rodriguez's ideas about his complexion?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. How does Rodriguez feel about writing? How does he feel about writing about his family? How has he handled it in the past? How is he handling it now?

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

7. How does Rodriguez describe the change in the Catholic Church that happens as he grows up?

8. How does Rodriguez overcome his attitudes about dark skin? Give two specific examples.

9. How does Rodriguez handle applying for teaching positions?

10. What kind of social life does Rodriguez have? Does he have lots of friends and girlfriends?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Rodriguez identifies with a student description in a textbook, the "scholarship boy." He feels that is a good representation of how he was as a student.

Part One: Describe the scholarship boy. Identify how that type of student is seen by the teacher, by fellow classmates, and how he sees himself. Identify why Rodriguez related to that description, and use specific examples to support your answer.

Part Two: Write a brief description of the kind of student you are. Identify how that type of student is seen by the teacher, by fellow classmates, and how he/she sees himself/herself. Compare and contrast your description with that of the scholarship boy.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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