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

2. Why does Bessie believe that the artist Gladys Mgudlandlu is so successful?

3. What months does it rain fiercely in Serowe?

4. What did the Durban Magistrate Court tell Bessie?

5. In 1975, Botswana had few what?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In "The Old Woman," what is Bessie referring to when she says "Gods walk around Africa barefoot with nothing"?

3. What are Bessie's beliefs about racists?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Bessie thinks that friendship is very important in South Africa. What kind of country is South Africa, according to her? What do you find yourself doing if you have friends? What are you left alone to face if your friends flee the country? What do friends allow you to do that Bessie feels is essential to not becoming passive? Describe the good friend that Bessie had in South Africa and what effect his fleeing the country had on her.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

While Bessie is a true supporter of the black Africans, she can also be highly critical of them. Their lack of initiative in trying to better their situation is a common frustration to Bessie. List three examples that illustrate Bessie's frustration with perceived "passivity" of other black Africans. Bessie admits that she prefers to be on the sidelines when writing. Do you think that it's fair for Bessie to judge others from the sidelines instead of getting actively involved herself?

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