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. What animal did Styles get to catch cockroaches?

2. What other piece of contact information does Zwelinzima give to Styles?

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

4. What is the main character reading at the opening of the play?

5. What does the first man who walks into Styles' shop want?

Short Essay Questions

1. What would one say might be the climax of the play?

2. What is the passbook a symbol of?

3. How does Buntu both protest against and sympathize with Sizwe in Part 3?

4. What is the purpose of Robert being illuminated in a single light right before he begins narrating his letter to his wife?

5. In what way does Style's story about the Ford plant speech show that he was an enterprising personality even before he had his own business?

6. Why does Buntu's mood change at the end of Part 3?

7. 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?

8. How does the passbook represent oppression of blacks in Apartheid-era South Africa?

9. Why does Buntu tell Sizwe the story of Jacob, a man who recently died?

10. How much respect does Buntu have for Sizwe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the idea of being 'alive' versus being 'dead' or a 'ghost' as represented in the play.

Essay Topic 2

In Part 1, Styles speaks about a 'strong room of dreams'. Discuss what is meant by this with particular regard to either:

A) Styles' realization of his own personal dreams and goals in having his own photography studio, and what the studio represents for the future of his black customers.


B) The playwright's take on the theater in which the play is being performed, as the lines were to be spoken by a black actor on stage in Apartheid-era South Africa.

Essay Topic 3

Do you agree that Sizwe loses his innocence over the course of the play? Discuss with reference to what kind of an influence Buntu has on Sizwe and what Sizwe loses and gains.

(see the answer keys)

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