A Handful of Dust Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does John encounter Tony?

2. What does Marjorie solicit of Jock?

3. Why is Jock uncomfortable with Tony at first?

4. Who believes the Abbey exhibits poor taste?

5. Who does Tony invite to the hunt?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do you think Tony decides to go away for awhile?

2. Do you think that a class is a good enough reason to miss the beginning of an annual, traditional event at Hetton as Brenda does?

3. What does Brenda do the rest of the weekend at Hetton and why do you think she does those things?

4. What do you think is a theme that is introduced in this first chapter?

5. Describe Jock's date for the hunt weekend.

6. What do you think about Jock's behavior towards his friend, Tony?

7. How is the inadequacies of the social circle in which Brenda revolves evident with the death of John Andrew?

8. What demonstrates how very widespread the knowledge about Brenda's affair is and how much it is a topic of conversation?

9. How does Tony manage to survive in the jungle?

10. What occurs in this chapter to demonstrate how far Brenda has sunken into self deceit?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In chapter 2, "English Gothic: Part Three," Brenda is just taking the first steps on the road to adultery. Discuss the following:

1. Is it obvious yet that Brenda consciously intends to develop her curiosity of John Beaver into a full-blown affair? Why or why not?

2. Is it obvious yet that John consciously intends to develop his flirtation with Brenda into a full-blown affair? Why or why not?

3. What is similar about these two characters that puts them on the path to having an affair? Could either have stopped this becoming an affair, or is the dye already cast by this early chapter?

Essay Topic 2

In , Chapter 3, "Hard Cheese on Tony , Part 1," Tony encounters Jock at the Brat's Club. At first Jock feels a little awkward with Tony, since everyone knows about Brenda's affair with John Beaver. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think it is wrong of Jock to know something so important to Tony's life and not tell him? Why or why not?

2. Where are there other examples in the text when Brenda's affair is being discussed? Give examples and analyze the motives of the characters and morality of the situation.

3. Do you think Brenda not saying anything sooner is motivated out of compassion or greed? Give specific examples.

Essay Topic 3

Waugh offers an alternate ending in his serialization of A HANDFUL OF DUST in an American magazine. In that ending, Tony returns to England, is reunited with Brenda, moves into her flat and begins a series of affairs himself. Discuss the following:

1. Which ending to the novel do you think is closer to reality? Why?

2. Which ending is a more honorable one for Tony? Why?

3. Do you think Brenda would have welcomed Tony back and then stayed with it despite his affairs? Explain your reasoning using examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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