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 was Doris Lessing born?

2. Which of the following conditions ailed the author's father?

3. What made Lessing and her brother weep at the end of Chapter 5?

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

5. What did Doris insist on having with her in the photograph for which she posed?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. After tracing the history of her parents' lives, what does Lessing ponder?

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

4. What sensation predominated Lessing's childhood?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In this section of the autobiography, Lessing detailed her progression to sexual awakening and maturity. Analyze Lessing's developing notions on sexuality in that section of her life story. How did she view sexuality? How did her views differ from the majority of those in her community? How did Lessing derive those notions of sexuality? Provide details from the text.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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