LaGuardia Community College 2002-03 Common Reading
Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican

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Study Questions for the "How to Eat A Guava" Chapter

* Guava is a tropical fruit. If you want to find out more about it, click here.

  1. Esmeralda Santiago spent a great deal of effort to show that she is an expert in guava. Why did she have such an obsession about guava?

  2. Santiago's feelings toward guava seem to have changed over time.
    a. What did she remember about picking and eating guavas as a child in Puerto Rico?
    b. How did she feel now seeing guavas at a Shop & Save in New York?

  3. What is the author's state of mind when she said "But this is autumn in New York, and I'm no longer a child?" (p. 4)

  4. Santiago mentions that apples and pears have a "predictable and bittersweet ripeness." (p. 4) How can apples and pears have a bittersweet taste? What is she referring to?

  5. How is the guava used as a metaphor of life experience?

  6. Why did the author name the prologue "How To Eat a Guava?" After reading this short selection, if you were to rename it, what would be another suitable title?

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