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 did Bessie define culture?

2. In "chibuku beer and independence," who sent free beer for the independence celebration?

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

4. In 1964, where did Bessie move to?

5. Bessie had stories to tell but couldn't write them. Why?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What lasting effect did the treatment by the missionaries have on Bessie?

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

10. How does Bessie describe Botswana in 1964?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Bessie describes the lonely life of South African refugees as she experienced. Do you that the refugees would say that it's a small price to pay for freedom? What was Botswana's reaction to refugees after independence? How did this reflect their view of refugees? Do you think that refugees are ever truly "free" of the country that they have fled? Are they always associated with it in the new country? Is this true today of America and refugees from the Muslim countries? What are the stereotypes of these refugees? Do you think that refugees should be forced to assimilate totally into their adoptive country, even forsaking previous culture, language, and religion?

Essay Topic 3

Bessie developed an early love for Capetown and returned there frequently. What did her friends tell her about Capetown in 1958? Why does she love it so much? What sense does she get there? Why do the whites of the Cape describe it as having a liberal tradition? What does Bessie think of their assessment? Why does she say they pride themselves on this? What kind of personality do the Cape Coloureds have that she admires? What compromise have they made with the ruling group? What impressions do you get from Bessie regarding this compromise?

(see the answer keys)

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