Section I: Essay answers.  Be sure to read each question carefully and answer as completely and directly as possible.  Your goal is to demonstrate your attention to all relevant readings and lecture materials.

  1. Is Ichiro Yamada responsible for his own suffering?  Why?  Why not?  Use two specific examples from No-No Boy to support your answer.
  2. Explain why Sara (Bread Givers) thinks the following (explain the significance of Sara’s word choice, too!) as she finally finds a room to rent after escaping Father’s house: “Like a drowning person clinging to a rope, my tired body edged up to that door and clung to it.  My hands clutched at the knob.  This door was life.  It was air.” Be specific!
  3. Who are the burden bearer, the empty head, and blood & iron in Bread Givers?  Be sure to list their names and, using one specific example for each, explain why they have these nicknames.
  4. Using two specific examples from Santiago’s memoir, show that life writing means writing in the present about the past. In addition, describe how Santiago represents her childhood self. Finally, how are memoirs different from autobiographies?
  5. Explain what Negi thinks about “America” as you provide at least two specific examples of how she learns to think this way. Provide another specific example to demonstrate that the memoir’s representations of America are contradictory.

Section II: Short answers. Write definitions/descriptions/explanations for each of the terms/concepts/historical contexts listed below.  Each is worth 5 points. 

  1. No-no boys and Japanese American Internment
  2. Red-lining and block-busting
  3. Race is a biological fiction, but it is a social fact.
  4. Coexistence of “all men are created equal” and slavery

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