Alvarez’s “I Want to Be Miss America” was first published in 1995 (later reprint
Alvarez’s “I Want to Be Miss America” was first published in 1995 (later reprinted in her full collection of 1998), and was written about her experiences as a young woman in the 1960s. A lot’s changed in America, and within that pageant, since the 1960s— and a lot hasn’t.
For this short response quiz, and based on Alvarez’s essay, address this tension. It’s easy enough to google some images of and information about the pageant from 1965 and 2020. What do you see or understand about the subject of her essay? In just 50-100 words per question, answer the following:
1) What seems to have changed about the Miss America pageant since the time of Alvarez’s essay, the 1960s?
2) What seems to have remained the same, or how do these contests—60 years apart—appear similar?
Remember that your answers should be brief, and note that this response quiz will be easier the better you grasp Alvarez’s primary ideas.