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. According to Lessing, what is the most intense form of hatred?

2. Where was John McVeagh born?

3. Which of the following conditions ailed the author's father?

4. Where did Lessing's father work after he was discharged from the Army?

5. What does Lessing say about memory?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Lessing describe her childhood vulnerability?

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

3. How did Lessing become an atheist?

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

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

6. In Chapter 6, what was Lessing's mother's primary concern about the children?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Growing up in two distinct regions of the British Empire, Lessing received a very intimate portrait of race relations in the British territories before the dissolution of the Empire. Analyze the way in which Lessing approached race and race relations in her autobiography. How did she define the term, race, among the people living in Persia and Southern Rhodesia at that time? How did the different races interact in Southern Rhodesia? How did Lessing's understanding of race compare or contrast with the opinions of those around her?

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

In a memoir that spans three continents over the course of the author's life, space and place become particularly significant to the story and to Lessing's overall commentary. Examine the way in which she treats various spaces and places in the text. What themes, messages, or ideas does Lessing develop through her treatment of spaces and places? How does she portray those spaces and places? Be sure to consider limited spaces such as the various houses that Lessing recalls, and places as broad as the countries she lived in, to the various cities or communities where she resided.

(see the answer keys)

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