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. According to Lessing, where do most of the good biographers live?

2. What was the difference between African huts and English huts?

3. When did Lessing experiment with drugs?

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

5. How did Mrs. Mitchell and her son treat their Black servants?

Short Essay Questions

1. What sensation predominated Lessing's childhood?

2. How did Lessing become an atheist?

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

4. How does Lessing describe her childhood vulnerability?

5. Quoting a recent historian, to what major event does Lessing attribute current feelings of mistrust toward the government?

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

7. While their mother was bedridden, what did Lessing and her brother do?

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

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

10. Describe Lessing's outlook on the future of the world and human society.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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