Study Questions for the "Letters from New
In the beginning of the chapter, there are 5 lines
of text printed in italics. What are they supposed to be? (p. 155)
- In what ways did the boleros reflect and/or distort the notion of
- Who was Felipe Rodriguez? Why was he important in the chapter?
- Why did Esmeralda mention Felipe Rodriguez and her parents' quarrel
in the same paragraph? (p. 158)
- Esmeralda enjoyed learning from Mami how to iron clothes. What was
the most important reason that made her happy?
- The Santiago family's house was right behind a bar. What kinds of
problems did it pose for the children? (p. 155 - 156)
- Why did Esmeralda feel insulted and belittled by Tata's letter? (p.
157 - 158)
- Esmeralda threw away Tata's letter in a very disrespectful manner.
What was Mami's reaction? Are you surprised by Mami's reaction? Why?
- What kind of exotic food did the Santiago family eat to celebrate
Christmas? (p. 160 - 162) Why was it important for Esmeralda to describe
these things for the readers?
- Esmeralda felt betrayed by Mami when she learned about Mami's plan
to visit New York in a public setting. Locate the section where this
conversation happened, and summarized the exchanges that took place.
- Esmeralda also felt that Tio Lalo and Aunt Angelina were hypocritical
and psychologically tortured her when she was painfully waiting for
Mami's return. Find the incidents and the dialogs that Esmeralda provided
to the reader.
- When Mami finally returned from New York to Puerto Rico, she brought
hopes of a better life to the children. How did Esmeralda feel about
these potential changes?