When I Was Puerto Rican 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 is mavi, the beverage that Papi makes in "Mami Gets a Job"?

2. To what does the narrator compare her family's first house?

3. Why can't Papi bring Margie to visit?

4. What is ron canita?

5. What kind of music does Papi hum while he works?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Rita's attire in "Someone is Coming to Take Your Lap".

2. How are the "experts" who speak on nutrition and hygiene received by the Puerto Rican women?

3. Why does Esmeralda have to take the children to Dona Ana's house at the beginning of "Mami Gets a Job"?

4. According to Esmeralda, what is the function of nicknames in Puerto Rican culture?

5. How does Esmeralda react to her father's tears in "Fighting Naked"?

6. Describe the house Esmeralda's family moves to in "Someone is Coming to Take Your Lap".

7. Describe the house Esmeralda's family moves into at the beginning of Chapter 1: Jibara.

8. How does Esmeralda injure her hand at Abuela's house?

9. How does Abuela treat Esmeralda's injury?

10. Why do Ramona and Pablo fight at the beginning of "Fighting Naked"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Santiago's depiction of Puerto Rican culture in the book. Does she present a single Puerto Rican culture, or perhaps many? How does Santiago treat this/these culture(s)? Does Santiago present a critique or celebration of traditional Puerto Rican culture?

Essay Topic 2

Address the form and structure of the memoir. Analyze Santiago's choices in composing her life story. Consider, for example, the epigraphs that proceed each chapter, the titles of each chapter, and the progression of the story. How does Santiago make artistic choices in telling her story? How do these choices contribute to the overall effect of the work?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze the role that the arts play in Esmeralda's life. How does her education at the Performing Arts high school influence her life? Before auditioning for the Performing Arts school, what is Esmeralda's perception of the arts? How does that understanding change as she attends the school?

(see the answer keys)

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