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. Bessie Head was born in what year?

2. What did the Durban Magistrate Court tell Bessie?

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

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

5. What animal was involved in the story that the American woman told Bessie regarding a vision?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Bessie say about refugees and friendship in "Letter from South Africa"?

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

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

6. How does Bessie describe Botswana in 1964?

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

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

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

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

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

Bessie's views of the white man were formed at an early age. List two experiences in Bessie's early life that you think had a profound effect on her opinion of the white man? List the experiences and Bessie's response to them. Later in life, Bessie was able to see some good in the white man and her hatred lessened. Explain the person and the circumstances surrounding this.

Essay Topic 3

Oppression stunted and almost obliterated Bessie's creativity. And yet, the musician, Makeba, seemed to revel in it. Why do you think it would affect two people so differently? Is it a question of passion? Does it create more passion for some and less for others? Do you think that Makeba's passion for liberation fueled her in a creative sense? Did she use the situation to her own advantage? Did Bessie's avoidance of anything liberatory or revolutionary deny her this? Had she been more liberal, might she have been able to write?

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