Under My Skin Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Examine Lessing's position on social class and class structures. How did Lessing perceive class? What was her social class at birth? And, how did her family's social status affect her understanding of the term, class? What moments from the autobiography appear to have contributed to her notions of what class and class structure were? Considering events from her childhood and young adult years, what inspired Lessing to join the Communist Party of Southern Rhodesia?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

World Wars I and II played a significant role in Lessing's autobiography. Analyze the way in which she grappled with the Wars as historical events; and the repercussions that Europe and the rest of the world faced as a result of those conflicts. How did Lessing portray those effects in the autobiography? How did the Wars differ from other conflicts before them? What was Lessing's opinion regarding those Wars in particular; and the practice of war in general? What reasons did she give for her views on war?

(see the answer keys)

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