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. Who does Brenda visit in London?

2. Why does Tony call and awaken Brenda?

3. Who is anxiously awaiting Brenda's arrival back at Hetton?

4. Where is Brenda staying?

5. What does Tony tell his kitchen staff?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What sort of "struggle" seems to be going on between Brenda and John Beaver?

3. Who has moved into Hetton Abbey?

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

5. How long is it before Tony and Messinger are able to talk to the men of the village about what they want?

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

7. How would you characterize John Beaver's idea of a relationship with a woman (including Brenda)?

8. What happens in this chapter that indicates Brenda's lack of devotion as a mother?

9. What seems most important to Tony as he lies possibly dying and alone?

10. What are the indications that Tony may still be plagued by a "curse" or bad luck?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One person is seldom to blame when adultery comes into a marriage. Discuss the following:

1. What factors push Brenda into adultery? Give examples.

2. What is Tony's part in why Brenda chooses to be unfaithful? Should he accept part of the blame? Give examples.

3. Do you think the way Tony treats Brenda after her request for a divorce is fair and honorable? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 2, "English Gothic: Part One," the rooms of Hetton Abbey are named after characters in the story of King Arthur. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Discuss fully the legend of King Arthur.

2. Discuss how the legend of King Arthur and A Handful of Dust are similar and why.

3. Discuss how A Handful of Dust and the legend of King Arthur are different and why.

Essay Topic 3

There are several chapters named "Hard Cheese on Tony." Discuss the following:

1. What does the phrase "Hard Cheese on..." mean? (This may require a little research).

2. Do you believe all the unfortunate things that happen to Tony is solely bad luck? Why or why not?

3. Discuss two examples of when Tony creates his own bad luck. How could he have done differently?

(see the answer keys)

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