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. When was Hetton Abbey rebuilt?

2. Why is Tony annoyed?

3. What event is Brenda going to miss at Hetton?

4. What is John Andrew doing?

5. What does Allan do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Tony find annoying and why do you think he put himself in the situation?

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

3. How does it seem Mrs. Beaver is manipulating something between Brenda and John Beaver?

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

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

6. How is it that John Andrew gets caught in the middle of the problems between his parents?

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

8. Briefly discuss the setting of Hetton Abbey.

9. How does John Andrew's behavior demonstrate that he is indeed being affected by the disruption of the household?

10. Do you think John Beaver knows what the upper class people with whom he wants to associate think of him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In most relationships, each person is getting something out of the relationship, whether or not the relationship seems good. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think John Beaver is getting out of his affair with Brenda, especially considering he does not seem to particularly like Brenda.

2. What do you think Brenda is getting out of his affair with John, especially considering she does not seem to particularly find John all that interesting.

3. What is Tony getting out of the marriage with Brenda after she begins staying in London for great lengths of time?

Essay Topic 2

The men in A HANDFUL OF DUST often seem to get the bad end of the stick from the women in their lives. Some say that Waugh's somewhat compassionate treatment of Brenda and other women in his other novels who have "strayed" is a reflection of his own life. Discuss the following:

1. How does Waugh portray the relationship between men and women in A HANDFUL OF DUST?

2. Do you think Waugh's portrayal is accurate? How much of his portrayal of how the women treat the men may be a reflection of his personal experience? (This may require a little research).

3. Are there any women in the text who are portrayed admirably? Who? Give examples.

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of themes in this story, one of which has already been discussed. Discuss one of the following:

1. Choose two major themes (other than that of class) and analyze them and discuss examples of where that theme appears in the text.

2. Compare and contrast two major themes in the novel to those themes found in other texts/movies with which you are familiar.

3. Other than class, which theme do you think is the major theme of the book? Discuss why and give example

(see the answer keys)

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