Under My Skin Test | Final 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. Where did the young people in Lessing's circles get their beer?

2. What development in young John's life took very little effort from Lessing?

3. What was waiting for Lessing's last son in his crib before he was born?

4. What did Lessing do most afternoons with the new baby?

5. In Chapter 17, how did Klaus' father keep his name off the debt list?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did John react to the birth of his little sister?

2. In Chapter 19, what does Lessing describe as the smartest decision that she ever made?

3. Ultimately, why did Lessing think that she and Gottfried were mismatched?

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

5. In Chapter 13, how did Lessing rationalize her decision to leave Frank and their two children?

6. Why did Lessing direct her focus on the Communist ideas that she was developing in this chapter instead of focusing on the events of her life?

7. Describe Lessing's entrance into love and romance as she describes it in Chapter 10.

8. In Chapter 11, who was Dorothy Schwartz?

9. Describe the feeling that Lessing had before she left Frank.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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 Lessing recounted the details of her young adult life, she commented on the institution of marriage through a discussion of her three unsuccessful unions. Examine Lessing's position on marriage and divorce in the text. Was her notion of marriage and divorce congruent with the notion of marriage and/or divorce at that time? If not, how did her opinion vary? What were her messages regarding marriage and divorce customs in the British Empire at that time?

(see the answer keys)

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