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. What social development occurred during Lessing's stay at the Convent which, much to the chagrin of the nuns, parents supported?

2. What year did Lessing leave Southern Rhodesia?

3. In Chapter 2, what is one thing that Lessing says the writer must have in order to begin to write about his/her life?

4. What did the doctor prescribe to alleviate Lessing's mother's ailment?

5. What stove brand did Lessing's family use?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Lessing support herself when she no longer lived with her parents?

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

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

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

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

6. Describe the beginning of Lessing's relationship with Gottfried.

7. Describe the circumstances of Gottfried Lessing's death.

8. Describe Lessing's activities in Capetown in Chapter 17.

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

As a child, Lessing grew up in Persia and Southern Rhodesia - regions that were both part of the British Commonwealth. Examine the way in which Lessing discussed life as an English citizen living in the Commonwealth. What were the conditions of their lives as English citizens? How did the lives of the English differ from the lives of the indigenous peoples? How did Lessing treat those conditions and differences?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Lessing's views on the role and consequences of violence. How did she define violence? What was her stance regarding violence on the personal or national level? Did her opinion remain consistent in all instances? Or did it vary by circumstance? According to Lessing, were there instances of justified violence or war?

(see the answer keys)

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