Sizwe Banzi Is Dead 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 what country is this story set?

2. What did Styles say he had to go through to attain ownership of a building and a business?

3. What does Styles convince Zwelinzima to do in Part 2?

4. How many pictures does Zwelinzima want taken in Part 2?

5. How does Styles feel about the number of pictures Zwelinzima wants taken?

Short Essay Questions

1. Comment upon the feelings of what a western audience might feel in the face of the idea of changing one's identity.

2. How is Buntu's display in order to convince Sizwe to change identities particularly powerful?

3. What reasons does Buntu give Sizwe for not trying to get a new passbook?

4. Why might the father of the family who came into Styles' studio have died so soon after having come in?

5. How is the studio a "place of dreams"?

6. How do Styles' mannerisms and outward thoughts affect the audience's understanding of Styles' life views?

7. How could the mention of the name Robert Zwelinzima be a powerful instance of foreshadowing?

8. What is the significance of Robert being illuminated in the spotlight with the passbook in hand, segueing into his resuming the narration of the letter to Noweto?

9. Explain the meaning behind Styles yelling out for Robert to imagine that he is against the backdrop of the "city of the future".

10. Explore the ways in which the playwright incorporates the idea of freedom into this part of the play.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

At two moments in the play, in Part 3 and Part 5, Buntu abruptly changes from a positive mindset to a negative one. What do these moments say about him, and what is the playwright trying to say about the attitude of South African blacks through this facet of Buntu's character?

Essay Topic 2

Given the desperation of the situation in which blacks found themselves in Apartheid-era South Africa, is it honorable or dishonorable for Sizwe to claim the identity of a dead man? Explain your answer with examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

The central question of the play asks what defines identity: one's name or one's actions. Explore whether the play offers an answer to this question, or whether it remains ambiguous.

(see the answer keys)

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