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 book did Lessing often compare her childhood?

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

3. How many biographers were writing about Lessing at the time that she wrote the book?

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

5. Growing up, what was Lessing always told about the family's financial status?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Lessing realize when she was diagnosed with Low Fever and sent to the mountains to recover?

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

3. Describe Lessing's ultimate assessment of the impact of the Communist Party in Southern Rhodesian politics.

4. Describe the feeling that Lessing had before she left Frank.

5. How did John react to the birth of his little sister?

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

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

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

9. What rationale did Lessing give for her marriage to Gottfried Lessing in Chapter 14?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

At the same time that Lessing wrote her autobiography, she critically engaged with the strengths and limitations of the form by recounting a valuable form of truth. Explore Lessing's commentary on the autobiography as a genre. What did she believe to be the value in writing her autobiography? What did Lessing perceive to be its limitation? How did exploring Lessing's perspective on the genre that she was using, illuminate the value of the text that resulted from that questioning? What did she ultimately offer her readers with regard to objectivity, subjectivity, or truth? How much more did you know about Lessing herself at the end of her work?

Essay Topic 2

Examine Lessing's position on social class and class structures. How did Lessing perceive class? What was her social class at birth? And, how did her family's social status affect her understanding of the term, class? What moments from the autobiography appear to have contributed to her notions of what class and class structure were? Considering events from her childhood and young adult years, what inspired Lessing to join the Communist Party of Southern Rhodesia?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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