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 is wrong with the food Esmeralda eats on the plane to New York?

2. What does Dona Andrea give to Mami in "El Mangle"?

3. How many rooms does the family have in Tata's house?

4. What didn't Esmeralda mean to steal from the baby's piggy bank?

5. To what does Esmeralda compare her developing breasts?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Esmeralda describe her first experience of snow?

2. Why does Esmeralda scream at Don Luis during her piano lessons?

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

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

5. Explain why Esmeralda laughs at Sra. Leona at the end of "El Mangle".

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 Esmeralda feel as Nicasia leads her through the process of blessing the dead baby?

8. Describe Dona Andrea.

9. Discuss the difference in Gladys' and Esmeralda's reactions to the task of peeling potatoes.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Santiago's experience of religion as a child. How does she convey this experience? What does Santiago's experience with religion say about the status of the Church in Puerto Rico? In what ways is Santiago's experience of religion typical or atypical? How does it compare to your preconceived notions of this 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

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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