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 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

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

Analyze the role of education in Lessing's writings. How was Lessing educated? How did her education affect her views on class, politics, and gender? What was Lessing's opinion of education as an institution? How did she support her opinion of education throughout her autobiography?

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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