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 social development occurred during Lessing's stay at the Convent which, much to the chagrin of the nuns, parents supported?

2. What year did Lessing leave Southern Rhodesia?

3. In Chapter 2, what is one thing that Lessing says the writer must have in order to begin to write about his/her life?

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

5. What stove brand did Lessing's family use?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Lessing support herself when she no longer lived with her parents?

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

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

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

5. What did Lessing realize when she was diagnosed with Low Fever and sent to the mountains to recover?

6. Describe the beginning of Lessing's relationship with Gottfried.

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

8. Describe Lessing's activities in Capetown in Chapter 17.

9. Describe Lessing's ultimate assessment of the impact of the Communist Party in Southern Rhodesian politics.

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

At the same time that Lessing wrote her autobiography, she critically engaged with the strengths and limitations of the form by recounting a valuable form of truth. Explore Lessing's commentary on the autobiography as a genre. What did she believe to be the value in writing her autobiography? What did Lessing perceive to be its limitation? How did exploring Lessing's perspective on the genre that she was using, illuminate the value of the text that resulted from that questioning? What did she ultimately offer her readers with regard to objectivity, subjectivity, or truth? How much more did you know about Lessing herself at the end of her work?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

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