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. How many trek oxen hauled the wagon carrying Lessing's family?

2. How did Lessing's mother cure Lessing's lice problem?

3. What kind of food were the children fed at the convent that Lessing stayed in as a child?

4. In which book did Lessing write about Mr. Whitehead?

5. What social development occurred during Lessing's stay at the Convent which, much to the chagrin of the nuns, parents supported?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What sensation predominated Lessing's childhood?

3. What essential skill did Lessing learn in Chapter 5?

4. In Chapter 8, how did the girls at the school avoid exams?

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

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

7. What did Lessing suspect was the root of her mother's illness?

8. How did Lessing's parents plan to acquire land in Southern Rhodesia?

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

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

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 recounted the details of her young adult life, she commented on the institution of marriage through a discussion of her three unsuccessful unions. Examine Lessing's position on marriage and divorce in the text. Was her notion of marriage and divorce congruent with the notion of marriage and/or divorce at that time? If not, how did her opinion vary? What were her messages regarding marriage and divorce customs in the British Empire at that time?

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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