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 did Lessing's mother cure Lessing's lice problem?

2. Which of the following historic examples does Lessing use to support her claims about human nature?

3. Why did Lessing not like the clothes that her mother had made for her?

4. Why did Lessing's father miss the Battle of the Somme?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. From the details Lessing provides in Chapter 1, describe the circumstances which led to Maude's broken heart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gender emerges in the autobiography as a determining factor in Lessing's life that influences her behavior and reception as a young woman within her community. Discuss the way in which Lessing portrayed the effect of gender roles on her growing identity. How did Lessing's mother model femininity? How did Lessing act out against or comply with that model of female behavior? How did she seem to define herself as a woman?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Lessing's perspective on social and political activism. How did Lessing connect theory and praxis? Were the people whom she associated with isolated intellectuals or were they activists for a particular cause? How did Lessing portray activist causes throughout her autobiography? What did she advocate?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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