When I Was Puerto Rican 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 kind of work does Mami bring home in "Letters from New York"?

2. What chore to Gladys and Esmeralda do every morning?

3. What job does Mami start out working in New York?

4. Which authority figure in Esmeralda's life is so gullible as to believe everything the children tell him/her?

5. Why does Tata drink beer?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the letter that Esmeralda writes to her father and the family's reaction to it.

2. How has Mami's new appearance changed the way she interacts with people in Puerto Rico?

3. How does Francisco's family react to the news that he has cancer?

4. How does Esmeralda feel as Nicasia leads her through the process of blessing the dead baby?

5. What is Esmeralda's first impression of New York as the plane touches down?

6. How does Esmeralda cope with the embarrassment of being singled out for her sub-standard math skills in front of the class?

7. How does Mami react to the news that the doctors might need to amputate Raymond's foot one year after the accident?

8. Why does Esmeralda say that it is impossible to escape the stench when her family lives in El Mangle?

9. How does Esmeralda describe the stewardesses at the beginning of "Angels on the Ceiling"?

10. How does Esmeralda's family react when they learn that Francisco has cancer?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze Santiago's treatment of childhood and the child's perspective throughout this work. How does she portray her own childhood? How does the child narrator provide a commentary unavailable to an adult narrator? How does Santiago's treatment of childhood compare with mainstream American notions of childhood? What has growing up in jibara culture contributed to her notions of childhood?

Essay Topic 2

How does Santiago address issues of Puerto Rican identity in this memoir about her childhood and immigration experience? To Santiago, what does it mean to be Puerto Rican? What does it mean to be a Puerto Rican girl living in the United States? How are these two identities different? How are they similar? Support your response with evidence from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the way Santiago portrays the Puerto Rican culture in the United States. How, according to the book, do Puerto Ricans adapt to living in New York? How do their lives change? What remains the same? How does Santiago seem to feel about these changes? How does Santiago act as a detached observer of the Puerto Rican community in Brooklyn?

(see the answer keys)

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