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 do most black friends in South Africa meet?

2. In Serowe, what grazes the earth to a shred?

3. Who is Bessie referring to in "A Gentle People"?

4. What months does it rain fiercely in Serowe?

5. According to Bessie, the South Africans have been living in exclusive compartments for so long that they are what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What are Bessie's beliefs about racists?

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

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

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

7. How does Bessie describe Botswana in 1964?

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

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

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 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?

Essay Topic 2

At the independence celebration in Botswana a student relays a story to the group. He says that when he shouted to burn the British flag, he was told that he was embarrassing everyone, especially the white people present. Why would anyone in Botswana care what the white people thought? Is Botswana held to a different standard because it's never been occupied? Do you think that some people think that they should appreciate the treatment that they've been given by the British? Do you agree? Do you think that the student's frustration stems from a perceived lack of understanding from the Botswana villagers of his passion for liberation? Does he look at blacks as one unified group while they are still looking at the situation from a Botswana point of view only?

Essay Topic 3

In Ellen Kuzwayo's "Call me Woman," she describes her life before and after oppression. What was her life like before? What was the view of South African then? What kind of work was her family involved in? What kind of education did she have? Ellen was a part of the first groups of educated blacks that felt leadership should be based on merit, not ethnicity. What event changed her life drastically? Do you think she was at all prepared to be thrust into a world of instant poverty, violence, and suffering? How did she deal with it? Do you think that it's easier for someone to accept this, if they've been born into it and it's all they've ever known, rather than someone, like Ellen, who knew a good life and then was forced to give everything up?

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