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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 kind of dress was Lessing wearing in the scene that she describes?
2. In Chapter 11, where did Lessing work?
3. How does Lessing describe the letters that she received from her mother?
4. What book does Lessing cite in her discussion of the Russian front?
5. How does Lessing describe their sex life?
Short Essay Questions
1. What became of the three husbands who enlisted to fight Hitler?
2. What conditions did Lessing ponder as possible circumstances that would have changed her views on Communism?
3. In Chapter 15, what reason did Lessing give for switching law firms?
4. Describe the letter Lessing received from her mother in Chapter 9.
5. Describe Lessing's entrance into love and romance as she describes it in Chapter 10.
6. Describe Lessing's ultimate assessment of the impact of the Communist Party in Southern Rhodesian politics.
7. What did Lessing realize when she was diagnosed with Low Fever and sent to the mountains to recover?
8. How did Lessing describe Kurt in Chapter 16?
9. In Chapter 18, what circumstances prevented Lessing from getting much writing done?
10. Ultimately, why did Lessing think that she and Gottfried were mismatched?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Born during the final days of the British Empire, Doris Lessing presents a unique take on the Empire and imperial policy. Discuss Lessing's developing views on the Empire. Explore themes such as the ethics of the Empire, the financial ramifications of the Empire, and the social changes that she discusses after the fall of the Empire. What does her overall message regarding British imperialism appear to be? Support your answers with evidence from the autobiography.
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
As a child, Lessing grew up in Persia and Southern Rhodesia - regions that were both part of the British Commonwealth. Examine the way in which Lessing discussed life as an English citizen living in the Commonwealth. What were the conditions of their lives as English citizens? How did the lives of the English differ from the lives of the indigenous peoples? How did Lessing treat those conditions and differences?
This section contains 903 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)