Under My Skin 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. Where did Lessing's family live before they found property?

2. What did Lessing's father think of his Persian business partners?

3. What year did Lessing leave Southern Rhodesia?

4. How much capital did Lessing's father take to Southern Rhodesia?

5. Which of the following drugs does Lessing admit to having taken once?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Lessing's mother explain the bout of illness that kept her confined to bed?

2. Describe the circumstances that led to Alfred's depression.

3. How did Lessing become an atheist?

4. What did Lessing do one night when she was forced to remain in the cabin while her parents attended a dance?

5. How did Lessing avoid dealing with her conflicts with her mother?

6. Why did Lessing's parents have all their teeth removed before leaving for Africa?

7. Quoting a recent historian, to what major event does Lessing attribute current feelings of mistrust toward the government?

8. In Chapter 7, what did Lessing and her brother do in the bush?

9. According to Lessing's memory, how did she learn to interact with people around her?

10. While their mother was bedridden, what did Lessing and her brother do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

During her young adult years, Lessing becomes affiliated with the Communist Party of Southern Rhodesia - at the time, considered a very political party for a young British woman to join. Discuss Lessing's initial feelings regarding the Communist Party, as well as the changes that occurred to that opinion during the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. What was Lessing's political stance at the time of her autobiography? How does she comment on the ideals and implementation of Socialism or Communism? How would instituting a Communist government in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) have been different than instituting a Communist government in Europe?

Essay Topic 2

As Lessing reached early adulthood, she moved in very cosmopolitan circles of society. Where did that cosmopolitanism attribute of hers originate? How did the diversity within her social circles contribute to the political and intellectual positions assumed by members of those groups? In what ways were cosmopolitan circles limited?

Essay Topic 3

In this section of the autobiography, Lessing detailed her progression to sexual awakening and maturity. Analyze Lessing's developing notions on sexuality in that section of her life story. How did she view sexuality? How did her views differ from the majority of those in her community? How did Lessing derive those notions of sexuality? Provide details from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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