Prisons We Choose to Live Inside 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 does Lessing hope will one day change human behavior?

2. What surprised Lessing regarding human behavior over time?

3. Lessing was shocked to learn that her friend, a born again Christian, rejected ______________.

4. What did the farmer do to punish the bull for its kill?

5. According to Lessing, what do Christians believe in?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the political climate in Lessing's country when she was growing up?

2. In terms of collective beliefs during her life time, what idiocy struck Lessing?

3. Why did Lessing feel that our ability to consider differing viewpoints might save the human race?

4. Why did Lessing believe sub-groups with opposing positions were dangerous?

5. Lessing believed that if humans could learn from our history, we could change our future in what respect?

6. What comments did Lessing make about the length of time the white ruling class was in power in Rhodesia?

7. What was the purpose of cutting down a tree associated with a traitor? Why did Lessing find it ridiculous?

8. Why did Lessing suggest that strengthening individuality would lead to a better world in the future?

9. What did Lessing mean when she said that groups will often "vilify their opposition"?

10. In the anecdote about killing the bull, what did Lessing suggest that the farmer's revenge actions on the bull demonstrated?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine one of the following examples, supporting or refuting Lessing's belief that these groups vilified the opposition in order to uphold their cause.

1) The miner who was beaten in Britain.

2) The Christian religion.

3) The political Left.

Essay Topic 2

Lessing believed that, throughout history, a group mentality has prevented people from standing up to thoughts and ideas that caused harm to others. Citing examples from the text, discuss the various moments throughout history where group mentality was dominant over reason. Include the following:

1) Hitler's regime.

2) The witch trials.

3) Religious sects.

Essay Topic 3

Lessing believed that the word "blood" is a powerful one when it comes to inciting emotion.

1) Why did she find the word "blood" significant?

2) What are some examples she gives to support this theory?

3) What are the implications regarding human nature and violence?

(see the answer keys)

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