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 was Lessing's name for her outward personality?

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

3. Which of the following drugs does Lessing admit to having taken once?

4. Who stated that children should play in mud?

5. According to the quote at the opening of Chapter 1, the girl in Lessing's mother's favorite saying only cared about which of the following?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Describe Lessing's father's medical condition in this chapter.

7. How does Lessing describe her childhood vulnerability?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore and discuss the way in which Lessing deals with mental illness in her autobiography. How did she approach the issue of mental illness? How did she treat the people whom she mentioned within her autobiography who suffered from mental illness? Was she sympathetic? Compassionate? Understanding? What effect did mental illness have on her life? How might that effect, if any, explain or illuminate her position on mental illness?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

World Wars I and II played a significant role in Lessing's autobiography. Analyze the way in which she grappled with the Wars as historical events; and the repercussions that Europe and the rest of the world faced as a result of those conflicts. How did Lessing portray those effects in the autobiography? How did the Wars differ from other conflicts before them? What was Lessing's opinion regarding those Wars in particular; and the practice of war in general? What reasons did she give for her views on war?

(see the answer keys)

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