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. Technologies and ideas in South Africa generally filter in from where?

2. In Bessie's opinion, South African refugees are generally, what?

3. What race was Bessie's mother?

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

5. What happened to Snowball?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In "Preface to witchcraft," Bessie states that while living in South Africa she lived with a shattering sense of anxiety. Do you think that some anxiety remained even after her move to Botswana? Do you feel a sense of this in her writings? Is the format of "A Woman Alone" a reflection of an anxious person? Does the constant "skipping around" from one to piece to another, one subject to another, speak of an anxious brain? Do you perceive a lack of finishing one thing before starting another? Or, do you think the format is intentional and simply reflects Bessie's individual style?

Essay Topic 3

The artist, Gladys Mgudlandlu, was extremely popular in South Africa because of her escapism theory. Why does Bessie refer to her as "the exuberant innocent"? Does she think of her and her escapism theory as naïve? Does she see it as not wanting to deal with real issues? Do you think Bessie thought it was wrong of her to encourage the black South Africans to just "sit back and let God deal with it"? Was this just offering them a good excuse to do nothing about their situation? If there was no oppression, do you think that this artist would have been as popular?

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