A Fine Balance Test | Mid-Book 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. In what year does the prologue take place?

2. What type of wedding do Rustom and Dina wish to have?

3. What was Maneck's father's reaction to the glass case that Maneck moved?

4. What is Dina's relationship with her brother like?

5. What did Om used to massage for his father?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do the passengers on the train react to the sudden halt in their travel?

2. What is life like for Om and Ishvar while they are living with Nawaz?

3. Why is Narayan murdered?

4. What happens after Om is hit by the car while following Dina's taxi?

5. What is Dina's reaction to Maneck when he arrives to stay with her?

6. Why does Dukhi send for his sons to be sent to live with Ashraf?

7. How does Maneck's father, Farokh, treat his soft-drink recipe?

8. In Chapter 7, what happens to the slums that Om and Ishvar are living in?

9. What does the officer suggest that Om and Ishvar do in their pursuit of a ration card?

10. Who is Shankar and what is significant about his body?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the entire novel, Ishvar is obsessed with finding a wife for Om. Marriage is seen as a positive addition to families even when the family doesn't have the financial means to support another person.

Part 1.) Compare/Contrast the marriage between Dina and Rustom to the one between Nusswan and Ruby. What is the same about these marriages and what is different?

Part 2.) Explain why you think Ishvar's expectations for Om's wife and marriage are reasonable. How will Om's impending marriage affect the lives of everyone living in Dina's home?

Essay Topic 2

When Maneck commits suicide at the end of the novel, his final thought is that he is happy to be holding the chess board. This thought is a bit ambiguous as to whether Maneck is feeling guilt, or if he is overwhelmed with the way that the world has turned out.

Part 1.) Argue what you believe to be the meaning to Maneck's final thoughts.

Part 2.) Argue why you think it was so important to Maneck that he is holding the chess board, especially after he spent years not taking care of it, or missing its presence.

Essay Topic 3

The societal structure set up in the novel is one of authority. It seems that most people want authority over others, and once they have it, find themselves exploiting it. Choose one relationship with the novel and explain how both authority and exploitation are large factors in the way that these two people relate. Does it seem that only one person is benefiting in the relationship, or is it possible to find a balance, even when exploitation is involved?

(see the answer keys)

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