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. To which of the following does Lessing compare writers?

2. When did Lessing experiment with drugs?

3. What made Lessing and her brother weep at the end of Chapter 5?

4. Which of the following organizations asked Lessing to write a play in the 1950's?

5. How much capital did Lessing's father take to Southern Rhodesia?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Lessing become an atheist?

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

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

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

5. In Chapter 3, what type of child abuse does Lessing describe?

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

7. According to Lessing in Chapter 2, what is the role of truth in autobiographical writing?

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

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

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

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

Examine the way in which Lessing presented her relationship with her mother. Did she respect or resent her mother? What strained their relationship? Why did Lessing's mother disapprove of Lessing's choices? Ultimately, how did Lessing reflect on her relationship with her mother?

(see the answer keys)

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