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. According to Mary, what does a quilt keep out?

2. What does Johnnetta say asking someone to change curriculum is like?

3. What part of America did Johnnetta grow up in?

4. What was significant about Johnnetta's position as president of Spelman College?

5. Which of the women in the book are looking for "symmetrical relationships"?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what ways does Bateson use riddles to express the way individuals identify their personal convictions and ideals?

2. According to Mary, why did so many male-female relationships in the past fail?

3. According to Bateson, what does it mean to have a symmetrical relationship?

4. According to Bateson, what are the benefits of cooking without a recipe?

5. What major breakthrough did Ellen make in her field of psychology?

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

7. What is the nature of Jack's relationship with Alice?

8. What two significant events happened when "The Cosby Show" came to film at Spelman University where Johnnetta works?

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

10. According to Bateson, how do today's values for a "good life" differ from traditional values?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the opening of the text, author Mary Catherin Bateson discusses the ways the role of women in the household has changed in today's modern times. First, describe the traditional role of women. Then, compare and contrast that role to the role Bateson describes as the role of the "modern" woman. Finally, choose one woman whose life is explored in the text and describe how that woman's life emulates Bateson's modern woman. Do you think this woman is happy in her improvisational life? Why or why not? 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

In what ways is wisdom gained through life? Mary has very specific ideas about how one becomes "wise". Explain those ideas in a brief essay using one of the women in the book as an example. What path did this woman take in her pursuit of wisdom? What different types of wisdom did she gain? Do you think all her efforts were consciously in the pursuit of wisdom? How can you tell? Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

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