Composing a Life Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Mary Catherine Bateson
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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 does Alice believe is the art form of the 21st century?

2. Which of the following art forms is NOT one Mary's grandfather collected when she was a child?

3. According to Bateson, which of the following forces adds the most stress to marriages?

4. Which of the women coined the term "tweeded"?

5. In what city were Joan and Erik married?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does it mean for one to compose their life as an "emergent vision"?

2. What did Mary learn about society while visiting her mother's work with her?

3. According to Bateson, how is life like jazz music?

4. What struggles did Mary encounter when interviewing her four friends for this book?

5. According to Bateson, what do humans tend to believe about society?

6. According to Johnnetta, what does the term "tweeded" mean in academia?

7. What type of family did Mary Catherine Bateson grow up in?

8. According to Bateson, what is the main struggle of minority children living in America?

9. How did Johnnetta use her academic experience to change the definition of what it meant to live "as a black woman"?

10. What does it mean to Mary to live in "a life in flux", and how did this affect her choosing of which women would appear in the book?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In chapter seven, Mary Bateson makes the statement that Americans are more comfortable giving things away completely than sharing. What do you think Bateson means by this saying? Do you agree with her? Why or why not? Finally, explain how you think this statement relates to the five women presented in the novel. Does this statement summarize any one woman or relationship in the text? If so, how? Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

In the opening chapter of the text, author Mary Catherine Bateson uses various metaphors and similes to express the ways women in today's modern society have been living improvisationally, and how this lifestyle affects society as a whole. Choose two of the metaphors you believe are most poignant in describing an improvisational life and describe how Bateson weaves these metaphors throughout the text. Then, argue why you believe these metaphors accurately depict the life of a modern woman. Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

At the end of the book, Mary has almost completely changed her attitude about caregiving and women in the primary role as caregivers. First, describe Mary's attitude about these topics at the opening of the book and compare/contrast that to her attitude at the end of the book. Then, citing specific examples from the text, trace Mary's change in attitude and consciousness based on the knowledge she gained from her interviews with the five women.

(see the answer keys)

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