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 names does Lessing give the personality that would comes out of her while under the influence of drugs?

2. What was the difference between African huts and English huts?

3. According to the quote at the opening of Chapter 1, the girl in Lessing's mother's favorite saying only cared about which of the following?

4. Which of the following does Lessing blame for the distrust that 20th Century people have in their governments?

5. Where did Lessing's family live before they found property?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How did Lessing become an atheist?

7. How does Lessing describe her childhood vulnerability?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

World Wars I and II played a significant role in Lessing's autobiography. Analyze the way in which she grappled with the Wars as historical events; and the repercussions that Europe and the rest of the world faced as a result of those conflicts. How did Lessing portray those effects in the autobiography? How did the Wars differ from other conflicts before them? What was Lessing's opinion regarding those Wars in particular; and the practice of war in general? What reasons did she give for her views on war?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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