Under My Skin Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Discuss Lessing's perspective on social and political activism. How did Lessing connect theory and praxis? Were the people whom she associated with isolated intellectuals or were they activists for a particular cause? How did Lessing portray activist causes throughout her autobiography? What did she advocate?

Essay Topic 2

During her young adult years, Lessing becomes affiliated with the Communist Party of Southern Rhodesia - at the time, considered a very political party for a young British woman to join. Discuss Lessing's initial feelings regarding the Communist Party, as well as the changes that occurred to that opinion during the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. What was Lessing's political stance at the time of her autobiography? How does she comment on the ideals and implementation of Socialism or Communism? How would instituting a Communist government in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) have been different than instituting a Communist government in Europe?

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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