Did you like the story "English as a Second Language"? Which of the characters did you like or identify with?

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Lucy Honig's “English as a Second Language” tells the story of Maria Perez, an immigrant from Guatemala who is trying to raise her children and learn English. You are asked to explain whether or not you like the story and why and which characters you like or identify with and...

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Lucy Honig's “English as a Second Language” tells the story of Maria Perez, an immigrant from Guatemala who is trying to raise her children and learn English. You are asked to explain whether or not you like the story and why and which characters you like or identify with and why. These are personal questions, of course, so you will have to determine the answer for yourself. But we can do some brainstorming to get you started.

Perhaps you liked the story quite a bit because of how much it lets us see the thoughts and perspectives of Maria. We get a chance to enter into the immigrant experience in this tale, to see through a different pair of eyes, and to learn how hard it is for people to get used to a new culture and language. You might also enjoy how the author weaves flashbacks into the story, both from Maria's experiences and from Ling's. These are poignant stories within the story that give us a glimpse of the harsh realities these immigrants have left behind.

If you did not like the story, that may be because you found it difficult to follow as the plot jumps back and forth. You may also have struggled to understand how Ling's tale fits in to the narrative or why the mayor behaves as he does.

As for characters, you might choose Maria or Ling if they are appealing to you. Maria is especially strongly drawn and detailed. Ling appears toward the end of the story, but she is rather endearing in her struggle to speak and tell her story.

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