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. What word did Kurt ask Esther not to use?

2. How does Lessing describe the letters that she received from her mother?

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

4. What was Lessing's wage when she worked as a junior typist?

5. What does Lessing mention as the one thing that would have stopped her from marrying Frank?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In Chapter 12, how does Lessing describe her first son, John?

3. 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?

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

5. Describe Lessing's reaction to the end of World War II.

6. In Chapter 15, what reason did Lessing give for switching law firms?

7. Describe the letter Lessing received from her mother in Chapter 9.

8. How did Lessing respond to increasing unhappiness with her marital and home situation?

9. In Chapter 18, what circumstances prevented Lessing from getting much writing done?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

History plays a key role in forming the text of the autobiography. Examine the ways in which Lessing relied on, recounted, or challenged history in the text. How central was history in Lessing's understanding of her own life? How essential was Lessing's life in her understanding of history? Were those two elements inextricably linked? What did Lessing's autobiography contribute to your understanding of history, understanding of historical events, or the way in which history is recorded?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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