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 does Mami pour onto Papi's clothes when she throws them onto the porch?

2. How does Esmeralda burn her fingers?

3. Where do the children sleep?

4. How many avocado trees does the family have left after the disaster in "Mami Gets a Job"?

5. What excuse does Papi give for not having money to bring home to the family?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. When Mami comes to get Esmeralda, how does Esmeralda feel about being left at Abuela's by Papi?

5. List the characteristics children use to label Esmeralda a jibara.

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

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

8. Explain why Esmeralda feels she has been punished for choosing to work with her father instead of listening to her mother.

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

10. Explain how Esmeralda feels about the treatment of jibaros.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A recent phenomenon in immigrant cultures is the move toward forming a more transnational identity--a notion of self which lies at the intersection between two cultures instead of squarely in one or the other. In your opinion, does Esmeralda form a distinctly Puerto Rican identity, a distinctly U.S. American identity, a transnational identity, or perhaps all three at different points of her life? If she identifies with one over the others, how does she demonstrate affinity for this identity? If she does not, how does she demonstrate a fluid notion of nationality? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the way in which geography, location, and space are treated in the memoir. Various topics you might explore include the way Esmeralda and other people experience travel, distances, or their physical surroundings. How fluidly does the family move from one location to another? What sense of space or place does the reader receive from this book?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the way sexuality is treated throughout Esmeralda's life. How is she educated about sex and sexuality? How do events in her life teach her about sexuality? Consider various points in the memoir, including but not limited to the sexual relationship between Mami and Papi, the interaction between Tato and Esmeralda, the interaction between Esmeralda and Don Luis.

(see the answer keys)

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