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. What did Bessie have to start doing in 1966?

2. What does Bessie feel is the most important aspect to having friends in South Africa?

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

4. In "The woman from America," who does Bessie say are always in the majority?

5. Why did the American woman come to Africa?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In Chapter 3, what reflections does Bessie make on herself and her writing up to this point?

3. In Chapter 3, how does Bessie feel that Botswana balances the old and the new?

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

5. How is Bessie's hatred of the white man lessened in Chapter 2?

6. What did Bessie enjoy about her lunch with the women's club in Iowa?

7. In "Writings of Southern Africa," why does Bessie state no writer ever plans on a career in writing?

8. How are Bessie and the American woman different?

9. In "Makeba Music," how does Bessie describe the musician, Makeba?

10. In "The Inspiration of Bertolt Brecht," how did Brecht bring Marxism to life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Conflict is the main theme of "A Woman Alone". Do you think that there was just as much internal conflict in the book as external? Do you believe that external conflicts are a direct result of individual internal conflicts? Explain Bessie's internal conflict regarding her avoidance of all things revolutionary and liberatory. Was she always proud of this? Did it sometimes create problems with others? Do you think that Bessie avoided these issues because she didn't think that they were effective or because she knew that she couldn't deal with them mentally?

Essay Topic 3

Atteridgeville in 1964 was a community full of poverty and desolation. What was the main reason for unemployment here? How far did people have to go just to work? Because of the high rate of unemployment, how were many of the young men looked upon? How did illegitimate births fit into this scenario? Why weren't young people getting married? What agency owned almost everything in Atteridgeville? Do you think that the young men of this town stood a chance of bettering themselves professionally or personally?

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