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. Where was Doris Lessing born?

2. What type of play did Lessing write while at the Convent?

3. Which company offered loans to the farmers in Lessing's region?

4. How old was Lessing when she wrote "The Treasure Trunk"?

5. According to Lessing, above all, what does history tell us?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. In Chapter 4, what prompted the Tayler family to move to Africa?

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

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 father's medical condition in this chapter.

10. What sensation predominated Lessing's childhood?

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

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 3

Born during the final days of the British Empire, Doris Lessing presents a unique take on the Empire and imperial policy. Discuss Lessing's developing views on the Empire. Explore themes such as the ethics of the Empire, the financial ramifications of the Empire, and the social changes that she discusses after the fall of the Empire. What does her overall message regarding British imperialism appear to be? Support your answers with evidence from the autobiography.

(see the answer keys)

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