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 1965, what did Bessie write that the people of South Africa need to find in order to live together?

2. According to Bessie, what do African people push aside?

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

4. What did Bessie's father take care of?

5. Where was Bessie sent at age 13?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what ways did emancipation slowly make it's way to Botswana?

2. In "Notes on Novels," why is Bessie having difficulty writing about her years in South Africa?

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

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

5. Why did Robert Sobukwe break away from the the African National Congress?

6. When Bessie arrived in Botswana in 1964, what were the major differences that she noticed between that country and South Africa?

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

8. Why according to Bessie has Botswana survived by "sheer luck and unexpected good fortune"?

9. What was Bessie's life like during the two years that she lived in the refugee community in northern Botswana?

10. In Chapter 2, what does Bessie think that the spirit of the Nigra Goddess has done for the blacks in America?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Bessie's friend, Snowball, had a difficult time living in District Six in Capetown. What was Snowball's general demeanor? Even though he was devoutly religious, what did he believe could live together in chaotic happiness? How was Snowball treated by the landlady and most of the community? Could they see beyond the fact that he had once been a professional thief and served jail time? Was this fair to him? What kind of humbling lesson did Snowball teach Bessie? What did she learn about herself and her attitude toward religion? Why did Bessie finally give up trying to protect Snowball? Do you think that Snowball left a lasting impression on Bessie?

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