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 old woman," what is Bessie offered as thanks for feeding the woman?

2. What does Bessie state that the South African blacks hoard?

3. In "Letter from South Africa," what do may refugees not want to do?

4. How does Bessie describe the Cape Town whites?

5. In Bessie's opinion, South African refugees are generally, what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. In "A Note on Rain Clouds," what does Bessie state is thwarting young, idealistic, black men and their ideals?

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

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

9. In "The Woman From America," what was the biggest threat that this woman and her husband posed to the village?

10. How does Bessie describe the world that a black South African is born into?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Khama the Great had a great impact on the history of Botswana. What was his most important accomplishment? Why was he so different? What did he possess that made even the British, stand in awe of him? In a nation of downtrodden people how did he manage to have such strength? How did he retain this and not fall into the doom and despair mind-set of his countrymen? Why did the British give him rights that no black man had ever gotten? Were they not used to seeing integrity and strength in a black man? Do you think that they were afraid of him? What would have been the result for Botswana had he not existed?

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

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?

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