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 happens to women as time passes?

2. Why did Lessing's father miss the Battle of the Somme?

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

4. After returning to England, where did Lessing's family settle?

5. What year did Lessing leave Southern Rhodesia?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe the conflict between Lessing's parents regarding the servants.

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

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

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

7. How did Lessing's parents plan to acquire land in Southern Rhodesia?

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

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

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

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

As Lessing reached early adulthood, she moved in very cosmopolitan circles of society. Where did that cosmopolitanism attribute of hers originate? How did the diversity within her social circles contribute to the political and intellectual positions assumed by members of those groups? In what ways were cosmopolitan circles limited?

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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