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. What was the trend in Atteridgeville in 1964?

2. How does Bessie describe the people from the place that the American woman hails from?

3. In "chibuku beer and independence," Bessie states that if the government make a statement with no evil in it, then it may be what?

4. What was Bessie's biggest frustration in "An Unspeakable Crime"?

5. Bessie feels that the South African blacks have a desperate longing to bring out their own what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What are Bessie's beliefs about racists?

4. How was African Independence celebrated in Botswana?

5. In "preface to Witchcraft," why is Bessie angry with South Africa?

6. Why is Bessie so drawn to the American woman in "Woman from America"?

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

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

9. Why do the South African blacks relate to the artist, Gladys Mgudlandlu?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bessie thinks that friendship is very important in South Africa. What kind of country is South Africa, according to her? What do you find yourself doing if you have friends? What are you left alone to face if your friends flee the country? What do friends allow you to do that Bessie feels is essential to not becoming passive? Describe the good friend that Bessie had in South Africa and what effect his fleeing the country had on her.

Essay Topic 2

After reading "A Woman Alone," what are your views on oppression? How does it begin? What is it based on? Does it spiral out of control or is it a deliberate action? How do events in South Africa since he 1990s seem compared to the hopes of the previously oppressed people?

Essay Topic 3

Bessie views African religion as "within oneself," with no need for institutions or communal worship. Does this seem to work well, for them? Why does Bessie think that this fits into their basic philosophy of life? Bessie states that this is the religion of any people who have never been wanted by the rest of mankind nor had the means or education to find God in a "posh place." Do you agree with this statement? Does a place of worship have to be posh? Is the fact of a community coming together more important than the structure that they worship in? Why, do you think, she assumes that all organized religions have elegant places of worship? Do you think she's right? Given the black South African's sense of being set apart from the rest of the world, do you think their type of "individual" worship only serves to emphasize their "aloneness"? Would a more group-based religion make them feel like part of something larger?

(see the answer keys)

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