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 did the doctor prescribe to alleviate Lessing's mother's ailment?

2. How did Lessing's mother cure Lessing's lice problem?

3. To which of the following illnesses did Lessing's brother often succumb?

4. At what age did Emily McVeagh die?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the circumstances of Gottfried Lessing's death.

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

3. What did Lessing do one night when she was forced to remain in the cabin while her parents attended a dance?

4. How did Lessing become an atheist?

5. Discuss Lessing's mini-vacation to Capetown.

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

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

8. What challenges faced Lessing when she moved to Soho?

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

10. How did Lessing respond to increasing unhappiness with her marital and home situation?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Gender emerges in the autobiography as a determining factor in Lessing's life that influences her behavior and reception as a young woman within her community. Discuss the way in which Lessing portrayed the effect of gender roles on her growing identity. How did Lessing's mother model femininity? How did Lessing act out against or comply with that model of female behavior? How did she seem to define herself as a woman?

(see the answer keys)

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