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. Which of the following did Lessing delight in telling the other children at the school?

2. Why did Lessing learn to drive?

3. Which of the following song for children made Lessing's mother cry?

4. How long before this book was written did Europeans arrive in Southern Rhodesia?

5. Growing up, what was Lessing always told about the family's financial status?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the English views of themselves and their relation to other people as Lessing portrays it in this chapter.

2. Describe Lessing's father's medical condition in this chapter.

3. In Chapter 4, what prompted the Tayler family to move to Africa?

4. Describe the conflict between Lessing's parents regarding the servants.

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

6. How did Lessing become an atheist?

7. What advantage does Lessing that claim she has in writing her autobiography late in her life?

8. Describe Lessing's outlook on the future of the world and human society.

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

10. After tracing the history of her parents' lives, what does Lessing ponder?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze the role of education in Lessing's writings. How was Lessing educated? How did her education affect her views on class, politics, and gender? What was Lessing's opinion of education as an institution? How did she support her opinion of education throughout her autobiography?

Essay Topic 2

Explore and discuss the way in which Lessing deals with mental illness in her autobiography. How did she approach the issue of mental illness? How did she treat the people whom she mentioned within her autobiography who suffered from mental illness? Was she sympathetic? Compassionate? Understanding? What effect did mental illness have on her life? How might that effect, if any, explain or illuminate her position on mental illness?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Lessing's views on the role and consequences of violence. How did she define violence? What was her stance regarding violence on the personal or national level? Did her opinion remain consistent in all instances? Or did it vary by circumstance? According to Lessing, were there instances of justified violence or war?

(see the answer keys)

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