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

2. Where did Lessing's family live before they found property?

3. What year did Lessing leave Southern Rhodesia?

4. How did Lessing's mother convey her distaste for Emily McVeagh?

5. What does Lessing say about memory?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What sensation predominated Lessing's childhood?

3. In Chapter 8, how did the girls at the school avoid exams?

4. How did Lessing become an atheist?

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

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

7. Why did Lessing's parents have all their teeth removed before leaving for Africa?

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

9. In your opinion, why does Lessing trace her lineage in the opening chapter?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

As Lessing reached early adulthood, she moved in very cosmopolitan circles of society. Where did that cosmopolitanism attribute of hers originate? How did the diversity within her social circles contribute to the political and intellectual positions assumed by members of those groups? In what ways were cosmopolitan circles limited?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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