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. To what does Lessing compare guilt?

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

3. To which party did Ken Graham belong?

4. What did Lessing do while she spent her days with John?

5. In Chapter 11, where did Lessing work?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Lessing believe to be the true cause of her father's death?

2. Describe Lessing's relationship with Ivy.

3. What conditions did Lessing ponder as possible circumstances that would have changed her views on Communism?

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

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

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

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

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

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Analyze the way in which Lessing discussed children and childhood in her autobiography. Children appeared throughout the work, as Lessing explored her own childhood, as well as the children who she had with her various partners. How did she present childhood in the text? How did Lessing feel that children should be treated? How did she treat them in her portrayal of them? How did having children affect Lessing's life?

(see the answer keys)

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