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. For whom did Styles say he one day realized that he was working and making money?

2. In whose house does Zwelinzima say that he stayed while narrating his letter?

3. According to Styles, what happened to his father after he returned home from the war?

4. What animal did Styles get to catch cockroaches?

5. What type of picture does Styles aim to provide for Zwelinzima?

Short Essay Questions

1. Expand on the significance of the idea of transformation in this play.

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

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

4. 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?

5. What is the passbook a symbol of?

6. Why did Sizwe enjoy his experience drinking at the bar he went to with Buntu?

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

8. What is the playwright implying about the fact that "Robert" was still unsuccessful working with Zola?

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

10. What can be deduced by the audience in regards to the nature of Robert's letter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the effect of having Styles and Buntu played by the same actor. What parallels and contrasts are there between the two characters, and how are they significant to the play as a whole?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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