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 does Lessing say about memory?

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

3. What type of animals frequently made their way into the Tayler house?

4. With whom did Lessing board as a child?

5. Which of the following sparkled in every rock that surrounded the Lessings' home?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Describe the circumstances that led to Alfred's depression.

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

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

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

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

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

History plays a key role in forming the text of the autobiography. Examine the ways in which Lessing relied on, recounted, or challenged history in the text. How central was history in Lessing's understanding of her own life? How essential was Lessing's life in her understanding of history? Were those two elements inextricably linked? What did Lessing's autobiography contribute to your understanding of history, understanding of historical events, or the way in which history is recorded?

(see the answer keys)

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