A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How do most black friends in South Africa meet?

2. In "Letter from South Africa," what do may refugees not want to do?

3. According to Bessie, the South Africans have been living in exclusive compartments for so long that they are what?

4. In "Village people," Bessie states that African peace is what?

5. Who does Bessie think the Afrikaner race will one day emulate?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "A Gentle People," what are Bessie's feelings regarding the black people of Cape Town?

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

3. What are Bessie's beliefs about racists?

4. Why did Bessie keep all the notes that the American woman gave her?

5. In 1982, Bessie writes about her reaction when people discussed her writing. Why did she get so frustrated?

6. In "Village People," how does Bessie describe the black African people?

7. In "The Woman From America," what was the biggest threat that this woman and her husband posed to the village?

8. In "Village People," how does Bessie describe poverty in Africa?

9. How does Bessie describe the Botswana flag to students during the independence celebration?

10. Why was Bessie given up for adoption?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The American woman filled Bessie's world when she arrived in Serowe. Describe her physical characteristics. What made her stand out in the village? What did Bessie come to see her as? If Bessie would have been a more religious person, do you think she would have attributed the "Nigra Goddess" characteristics to the American woman? Was this filling a void for her where religion might have been? Or, do you think that she truly saw God in this woman? The American woman could at times be harsh with Bessie. Was this fair to Bessie? Was there any way that the she could relate to the horrors that Bessie had experienced in her life? Do you think that she was harsh because she thought that Bessie was self-absorbed? Or, do you think that she was harsh because she was trying to encourage Bessie to close the door on the past and move forward by thinking of and helping others?

Essay Topic 2

Conflict is the main theme of "A Woman Alone". Do you think that there was just as much internal conflict in the book as external? Do you believe that external conflicts are a direct result of individual internal conflicts? Explain Bessie's internal conflict regarding her avoidance of all things revolutionary and liberatory. Was she always proud of this? Did it sometimes create problems with others? Do you think that Bessie avoided these issues because she didn't think that they were effective or because she knew that she couldn't deal with them mentally?

Essay Topic 3

At the independence celebration in Botswana a student relays a story to the group. He says that when he shouted to burn the British flag, he was told that he was embarrassing everyone, especially the white people present. Why would anyone in Botswana care what the white people thought? Is Botswana held to a different standard because it's never been occupied? Do you think that some people think that they should appreciate the treatment that they've been given by the British? Do you agree? Do you think that the student's frustration stems from a perceived lack of understanding from the Botswana villagers of his passion for liberation? Does he look at blacks as one unified group while they are still looking at the situation from a Botswana point of view only?

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