A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Why was Bessie given up for adoption?

Bessie was given up for adoption because her mother was from an upper class, white family and her father was black. Her mother was also mentally unstable, and Bessie was born in a mental institution.

2. What did Bessie think of the mission orphanage that she was sent to at age 13?

Bessie did not like the religious aspects of the orphanage, nor did she like the rigidity of it. However, she discovered the library there and developed a life-long love of books and writing.

3. How did Bessie react when she was forbidden to visit her adoptive family on school holidays?

Bessie was devastated when told that she couldn't visit the only family that she had ever known on school holidays. She threw herself down and told them that she was going to die.

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