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 is the basic landscape of Botswana?

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

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

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

5. What does Bessie enjoy that she feels South Africa denied her?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. In "God and The Underdog," what does Bessie feel fuels revolutions?

4. In "Village People," how does Bessie describe the black African people?

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

6. What was Bessie's first experience of racism in a black form?

7. In Chapter 2, why is the friendship between Bessie and the American woman painful?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Bessie developed an early love for Capetown and returned there frequently. What did her friends tell her about Capetown in 1958? Why does she love it so much? What sense does she get there? Why do the whites of the Cape describe it as having a liberal tradition? What does Bessie think of their assessment? Why does she say they pride themselves on this? What kind of personality do the Cape Coloureds have that she admires? What compromise have they made with the ruling group? What impressions do you get from Bessie regarding this compromise?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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