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. Where did Lessing's father work after he was discharged from the Army?

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

3. To which book did Lessing often compare her childhood?

4. Which of the following song for children made Lessing's mother cry?

5. What does Lessing say about memory?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. From the details Lessing provides in Chapter 1, describe the circumstances which led to Maude's broken heart.

5. How did Lessing's mother explain the bout of illness that kept her confined to bed?

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

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

8. What sensation predominated Lessing's childhood?

9. In Chapter 4, what prompted the Tayler family to move to Africa?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

In a memoir that spans three continents over the course of the author's life, space and place become particularly significant to the story and to Lessing's overall commentary. Examine the way in which she treats various spaces and places in the text. What themes, messages, or ideas does Lessing develop through her treatment of spaces and places? How does she portray those spaces and places? Be sure to consider limited spaces such as the various houses that Lessing recalls, and places as broad as the countries she lived in, to the various cities or communities where she resided.

Essay Topic 3

As a child, Lessing grew up in Persia and Southern Rhodesia - regions that were both part of the British Commonwealth. Examine the way in which Lessing discussed life as an English citizen living in the Commonwealth. What were the conditions of their lives as English citizens? How did the lives of the English differ from the lives of the indigenous peoples? How did Lessing treat those conditions and differences?

(see the answer keys)

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