Study Questions for the "Why Women Remain Jamona"
- On p. 89, Santiago said "it felt as it he [the bus driver] were
insulting me in the worst possible way." Why did she feel insulted
by the driver's comments and the other passengers's laughter?
- How did the incidents at the bus stop and on the bus reflect society's
expectations about men and women? (p. 87 to 89)
- Discuss the difference between "jamona" and "senorita,"
which also means an unmarried woman in Spanish.
- "Jamona" and "senorita" are examples of how words
can carry similar denotative meanings but different connotative meanings.
Use a good dictionary website to find
definitions of denotation and connatation.
- Find examples in English to show how words can express similar basic
meaning but different positive and negative implications.
- Refer to the family tree that you have created in the "jibara"
chapter. Add Abuelo and Abuela to the family tree. What is an appropriate
way to include these names?
- From Esmeralda's description of her stay at her grandmother's house,
what do you infer is the relationship between her grandmother and grandfather?
Find evidence from the chapter to support your inference.
- On p. 95 to 96, Esmeralda described how her grandfather made a living
by selling oranges in a cart. She also used this incident to show how
Abuelo was loving and caring toward her. Identify the example that she
- During Esmeralda's stay at Abuela's house, she noticed that her grandma
was a very religious person and was always praying. On p. 99, in the
third paragraph, "Abuela went in to say her prayers." Who/What
do you think she was praying for/about?
- Esmeralda uses very carefully chosen words to describe her feelings
and reactions to things that were bothering her, e.g.
a. "The soft moans I heard coming from their side of the room
were stifled sobs, like the ones that now pressed against my throat,
so that I had to bury my face in the pillow and cry until my head
hurt" (p. 100).
b. "I opened the faucets and let cool water wash over me, wishing
it could melt away the fear that made the thumps of my heart louder
than usual" (p. 103).
Explain the circumstances in each of these two cases and discuss
how these sophisticated techniques of writing help the author express
- In this chapter, there are at least two instances where Esmeralda
used physical pain and discomfort to hide her emotional pain. Locate
the examples and explain her reasons for doing so.
- Both Abuela and Mami were described as showing a great deal of sadness
on p. 102 and 103. Identify the phrases that Esmeralda used to describe
their sadness. Why were they sad?
- What were Esmeralda's feelings about the old woman at the mercado
in the beginning of the chapter? What were her feelings about
this woman at the end of the chapter?
- What were Esmeralda's feelings toward her father at the end of the
- Esmeralda finishes this chapter with a very powerful and emotional
conclusion on p. 104. Read this part carefully and paraphrase what she
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