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 the doctor prescribe to alleviate Lessing's mother's ailment?

2. How many bouts of illness did Lessing's family experience?

3. What event in Lessing's childhood does she describe as having left her inconsolable?

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

5. Where was John McVeagh born?

Short Essay Questions

1. What advantage does Lessing that claim she has in writing her autobiography late in her life?

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

3. How did Lessing become an atheist?

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

5. Describe Lessing's father's medical condition in this chapter.

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

7. According to Lessing in Chapter 2, what is the role of truth in autobiographical writing?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze the way in which Lessing discussed children and childhood in her autobiography. Children appeared throughout the work, as Lessing explored her own childhood, as well as the children who she had with her various partners. How did she present childhood in the text? How did Lessing feel that children should be treated? How did she treat them in her portrayal of them? How did having children affect Lessing's life?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

As Lessing recounted the details of her young adult life, she commented on the institution of marriage through a discussion of her three unsuccessful unions. Examine Lessing's position on marriage and divorce in the text. Was her notion of marriage and divorce congruent with the notion of marriage and/or divorce at that time? If not, how did her opinion vary? What were her messages regarding marriage and divorce customs in the British Empire at that time?

(see the answer keys)

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