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. Where was Bessie sent at age 13?

2. What did their landlady do to Snowball despite Bessie's protests?

3. What was the trend in Atteridgeville in 1964?

4. In 1966, Bessie wrote that some people from the American State Department came to Botswana, but they couldn't talk about what?

5. In 1964, where did Bessie move to?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How was African Independence celebrated in Botswana?

5. What more compassionate details concerning her mother did Bessie learn over time?

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

7. In "An Unspeakable Crime," why does Bessie feel discouraged by the South African blacks?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bessie's friend, Snowball, had a difficult time living in District Six in Capetown. What was Snowball's general demeanor? Even though he was devoutly religious, what did he believe could live together in chaotic happiness? How was Snowball treated by the landlady and most of the community? Could they see beyond the fact that he had once been a professional thief and served jail time? Was this fair to him? What kind of humbling lesson did Snowball teach Bessie? What did she learn about herself and her attitude toward religion? Why did Bessie finally give up trying to protect Snowball? Do you think that Snowball left a lasting impression on Bessie?

Essay Topic 2

In "An unspeakable crime", Bessie expresses her disdain of the Coloured Affairs Department. What are they doing in Port Elizabeth and Capetown that she disagrees with? Describe the actions of the coloureds, whom she feels are accessories to the crime. Are they ashamed of their actions? Should they be? Do you think that they truly don't know their own minds and think that the Coloured Affairs Department knows what's best for their children? Or, do they see the situation for what it is and go along with it because it's the only way to survive?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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