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 is the name of the character first seen in the opening part of the play?

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

3. What animal did Styles get to catch cockroaches?

4. What is the first customer that Styles describes coming into the shop for a picture?

5. Who came to collect the pictures for the aforementioned family?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. How does Part 2 draw the audience in to the play in general?

4. What does Buntu have to say to Sizwe about the importance of names?

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

6. Why does Buntu become calmer when telling Sizwe he's married with a child and sympathizes with his desire to improve himself?

7. What can be extrapolated from the fact that Sizwe writes to his wife about living in another woman's home, and that despite their working together, they were not able to succeed?

8. Why, after Sizwe asks Buntu how long it will "last," does Buntu suddenly says he's tired, bid goodnight to Robert and leave?

9. Why might Styles' charming demeanor come as a surprise to the audience, given the times in which this play takes place, as well as the period in which it was performed?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What narrative devices does the playwright use to paint a vivid picture of frustration and persecution in the black community under Apartheid?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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