Short Essay Questions Key
1. From the details Lessing provides in Chapter 1, describe the circumstances which led to Maude's broken heart.
During World War I, Maude was serving as a nurse in the Army. While working as a nurse, she met and fell in love with a young doctor. Their love was never realized however, because he was killed when his ship was torpedoed.
2. Describe the circumstances that led to Alfred's depression.
Alfred Tayler's depression was the result of his inability to continue serving in the Army. Because of injuries during battle, his leg was amputated. That surgery prevented him from returning to the war.
3. In your opinion, why does Lessing trace her lineage in the opening chapter?
One reason Lessing traces her lineage in the opening chapter might be to provide some sort of explanation for her family environment and the effect that it had on her views as an adult. The child of two depressed individuals, Lessing was deeply affected by the repercussions of World War I. In presenting her heritage, Lessing provides the reader some understanding of her family situation.
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