Parrot in the Oven Study Questions

  1. Describe when the analogy is given. Is this idea only in the narrator's mind at this point?
  2. Think about and discuss the way the parents are described. Is this stereotypical or accurate? Why is it important to the story?
  3. Analyze the scene when Manny and Nardo are picking peppers in the field. How does what happens there influence their lives at home?
  4. "He didn't know how awful she felt about embarrassing him at the pool hall" (59).
  5. "'You can't take my rifle . . . you can't take my rifle,' his voice sinking into a plea" (67). Discuss the significance of this scene, including Manny's mother's anger.
  6. "Grandma used to keep her face pretty like a baby doll, dabbing cold cream on it every night. . . . Now her face was webbed with wrinkles, and her hair sworly white and frazzled" (81).
  7. "How we never take responsibility. She said that's why we're so confused and screwed up. Only she didn't say 'confused' and 'screwed up,' but said 'neurotic' and another medical word I couldn't make out" (149). Describe and discuss the circumstances for this scene. Look closely at the narrator here. And what has just happened to Magda. Draw a connection between this epiphanic scene and the one when Manny recognizes Magda's "lover."
  8. "I passed the glass door; and from the light of the outside lamp I saw the reflection of a ridiculous boy, a clumsy boy. It was me, looking at myself, except that it wasn't me, but someone ghostly and strange" (181).
  9. "'Well, I suppose it's okay,' she said, finally. 'But don't come back later.' . . .like she know I'd do the right thing" (200).
  10. "This room was what my mother spent so much energy cleaning and keeping together, and what my father spent so much energy tearing apart. And it was wondrous, like a place I was meant to be. A place, I felt, that I had come back to after a long journey of being away. My home" (215).