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 startled Bessie in 1965?

2. What did the American woman send Bessie?

3. Where was Bessie sent at age 13?

4. What animal was involved in the story that the American woman told Bessie regarding a vision?

5. Where was Bessie born?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Bessie describe Botswana in 1964?

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

3. Why do the South African blacks relate to the artist, Gladys Mgudlandlu?

4. What are Bessie's beliefs about racists?

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

6. What did Bessie think of the mission orphanage that she was sent to at age 13?

7. What facts about her parentage were brutally told to Bessie by the magistrate and the missionary?

8. How was African Independence celebrated in Botswana?

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

10. Why was Bessie given up for adoption?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The American woman filled Bessie's world when she arrived in Serowe. Describe her physical characteristics. What made her stand out in the village? What did Bessie come to see her as? If Bessie would have been a more religious person, do you think she would have attributed the "Nigra Goddess" characteristics to the American woman? Was this filling a void for her where religion might have been? Or, do you think that she truly saw God in this woman? The American woman could at times be harsh with Bessie. Was this fair to Bessie? Was there any way that the she could relate to the horrors that Bessie had experienced in her life? Do you think that she was harsh because she thought that Bessie was self-absorbed? Or, do you think that she was harsh because she was trying to encourage Bessie to close the door on the past and move forward by thinking of and helping others?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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