The Westernization of Mrs. Jones
by Crystal Arbogast
Questions by Julia Zmeeva
Suitability: Intermediate to Advanced English as a Foreign Language.
There are three sections:
1. Comprehension Questions
2. Notes On The Author's Style
3. Writing Activity

1.1 What was the life of Stacy and her husband like in Germany? Stacy said, "The apartment we rented was small and cramped, but we were together". What do these words tell you about their relationship?

1.2 What "special relationship" did the wives of American officers have?

1.3 What was Stacy's attitude to Ken Jones? Why do you think she immediately felt sympathy for his wife?

1.4 How do you think Ken and Rosita came to be married? Did they love each other?

1.5 Why didn't Ken want Stacy to show Rosita around the city?

1.6 In what way was Rosita different from American wives?

1.7 In what ways does Kim influence Rosita? Why did the author choose a Korean woman to influence Rosita?

1.8 How does Rosita change through the story? Is Stacy satisfied to see this change?

1.9 What did Stacy learn from Ken's letter? What do you imagine the relationship between Ken and Rosita will be like fifteen years after the letter?

1.10 What is the significance of the last lines of the story? Why does the author finish it with the late-night commercial?

1.11 What do you understand by the word "westernization"? Do you think westernization did Rosita good?

In this story Crystal Arbogast uses irony to show that the changes in Rosita were not quite as Stacy had expected. Irony is a type of humor that uses words with an implication opposite to their usual meaning. For instance, when someone's actions have just made a situation worse, an ironic comment would be, "Well, that's a lot better, isn't it?" A situation may also be ironic when the outcome is the opposite of what was expected or intended, resulting in a humorous contrast.

For instance, to show how independent she has become, Rosita tells her husband he is "acting like a no good GI". But in fact, by using this phrase, she is showing her dependence on Kim.

Find more examples of irony in the story and explain why and in what way the author is being ironic.

Discuss some differences that exist between women's roles in the society in which you live and one other society.
 Questions by Julia Zmeeva