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. In "The woman from America," who does Bessie say are always in the majority?

2. Bessie says that she grew up knowing only whom?

3. According to Bessie, what do the South African blacks possess that evens out all their downfalls?

4. What does Bessie enjoy that she feels South Africa denied her?

5. According to Bessie, the blacks of Cape Town accept hell to have what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How was African Independence celebrated in Botswana?

5. In 1966, what changes were made regarding refugees in Botswana?

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

7. What facts about her parentage were brutally told to Bessie by the magistrate and the missionary?

8. Why is there no rage and oppression in Botswana?

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

10. In "The Old Woman," what is Bessie referring to when she says "Gods walk around Africa barefoot with nothing"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Bessie spent four months in Iowa researching a book, she was surprised to discover that America was not as she had imagined. How did she compare America to the villages of early Europe? Was it easy for her to adapt to life there? Was she able to develop her "all-important" routine there? What did it consist of? What were her thoughts on the university library? What was she surprised and excited to find there? Do you think that Bessie had pre-conceived notions about America? Do you think that her stay in Iowa gave her a broader, more accurate picture of America? How do you think she would have described it and the people after her trip?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The Natives Land Act of 1913 deeply affected the lives of the South African blacks. What was the purpose of the Act? What did the shortage of labor at the mines have to do with the passing of the Act? What were the consequences for whites, who allowed the blacks access to water or grazing land? What, do you think, was the main effect on the psyche of the one million black people affected by the passing of this Act?

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