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 did Lessing's father think of his Persian business partners?

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

3. Which of the following books did Lessing use to illustrate the difference in transitioning from the consciousness of a child to that of an adult?

4. In Chapter 4, what city did Lessing's mother insist on traveling through on the way back to England?

5. Where was John McVeagh born?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Lessing describe her childhood vulnerability?

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

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

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

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

6. How did Lessing avoid dealing with her conflicts with her mother?

7. In Chapter 3, what type of child abuse does Lessing describe?

8. How did Lessing respond to increasing unhappiness with her marital and home situation?

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

10. What challenges faced Lessing when she moved to Soho?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Growing up in two distinct regions of the British Empire, Lessing received a very intimate portrait of race relations in the British territories before the dissolution of the Empire. Analyze the way in which Lessing approached race and race relations in her autobiography. How did she define the term, race, among the people living in Persia and Southern Rhodesia at that time? How did the different races interact in Southern Rhodesia? How did Lessing's understanding of race compare or contrast with the opinions of those around her?

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

After her experiences of living in Persia and Southern Rhodesia, Lessing formulated an opinion on "The Native Problem" - the dilemma that the English settlers in various Commonwealth holdings experienced in interacting with the people whose lands they occupied. Discuss Lessing's position on "The Native Problem". How did Lessing feel about that particular issue? How did her opinion compare to the opinions of her contemporaries? What was the underlying reasoning for her beliefs? Was she justified in her opinion?

(see the answer keys)

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