A Handful of Dust 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. Where is Hetton Abbey?

2. Who has tea with Brenda and Polly?

3. Why is Jock uncomfortable with Tony at first?

4. Who entertains John while Tony is out of the house?

5. What kind of hints does Brenda make to Marjorie?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are several things revealed about Jenny Abdul Akbar?

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

3. How does it seem the women and men of the upper social class are portrayed in this chapter?

4. Give a brief description of the Last family members.

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

6. Is it likely that John Beaver at this point is not really interested in pursuing something with Brenda Last?

7. What two messages does Tony receive that are disappointing to Tony?

8. Why do you think Tony is unconcerned with Brenda spending time in London with her old social circle?

9. What demonstrates that Tony is trying to regain emotional intimacy with Brenda?

10. How is the last part of this chapter a transitional chapter for Brenda and Tony's relationship?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Evelyn Waugh is known for his social satires, A HANDFUL OF DUST being one of his most well-known. Discuss the following:

1. What is a social satire? Give other examples besides A Handful of Dust.

2. Discuss why A Handful of Dust is considered a social satire. Give specific examples to support your ideas.

3. Discuss how effective A HANDFUL OF DUST is as a social satire.

Essay Topic 2

Often the people hurt the most in a situation like that of Tony and Brenda's is a child. John Andrew plays a pivotal role in the melodrama of Brenda's descent into selfishness. Discuss the following:

1. Compare the relationship between John Andrew and each of his parents.

2. How does the relationship between John Andrew and his parents (individually) change over the course of the story?

3. How does John Andrew tip the scales in Brenda's decision to reveal all to Tony? Do you think she is genuinely grieved about her son's death or glad for an opportunity for "total freedom"?

Essay Topic 3

As in almost any text, there are a number of symbols and metaphors present in A HANDFUL OF DUST. Discuss one of the following:

1. Choose three major symbols in the novel and discuss their meanings as they occur in various places throughout the text.

2. Choose two major metaphors in the novel and discuss their meanings as they occur in various places throughout the text.

3. Discuss the symbols of Hetton Place as it relates to Tony's ideals and beliefs.

(see the answer keys)

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