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 killed one of the chickens and took off with a couple of eggs?

2. What year did Lessing leave Southern Rhodesia?

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

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

5. What article of clothing caught young Lessing's attention on Bayswater Road?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. In your opinion, why does Lessing trace her lineage in the opening chapter?

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

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

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

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

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

9. What sensation predominated Lessing's childhood?

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

After her experiences of living in Persia and Southern Rhodesia, Lessing formulated an opinion on "The Native Problem" - the dilemma that the English settlers in various Commonwealth holdings experienced in interacting with the people whose lands they occupied. Discuss Lessing's position on "The Native Problem". How did Lessing feel about that particular issue? How did her opinion compare to the opinions of her contemporaries? What was the underlying reasoning for her beliefs? Was she justified in her opinion?

(see the answer keys)

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