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Critics have noted that Ortiz Cofer's writing emphasizes individual, personal experience. As such, her writing has a more universal, mainstream appeal than the works of some other Puerto Rican authors, which emphasize the exploitation of the Puerto Rican masses. With this in mind, argue your opinion about the role of the personal and the political in fiction.

Although Rita is critical of her grandparents' world when she arrives on the island, she is a product of both urban New Jersey and rural Puerto Rico. Discuss how Rita's bicultural influences are evidenced in the text.

Research the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico since 1950. How is Rita typical or atypical of late-twentieth-century Puerto Ricans?

Ortiz Cofer uses Spanish vocabulary in her narrative in such a way that it is easily comprehensible to non-Spanish speakers. How does she use English/American allusions in a similar way, and what effect does this have upon the narrative?

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