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 has tea with Brenda and Polly?

2. Where is Brenda meeting Marjorie later?

3. How does Tony feel around Jenny?

4. What happens to cause Thunderclap to bolt?

5. How does Brenda do at Polly's party?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What is likely foreshadowed at the beginning of this chapter?

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

8. Briefly discuss the setting of Hetton Abbey.

9. Describe John Andrew's death.

10. What do you think of John Beaver's attempts to remain connected to the upper class by angling for invitations to various events.

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

There is a lot of foreshadowing throughout this story. Discuss the following:

1. How is Brenda's affair with John Beaver foreshadowed? Give examples.

2. How is John Andrew's death foreshadowed? Give examples.

3. Do you think Tony becoming lost in the jungle "forever" is foreshadowed? Why or why not? Give examples.

4. Do you think the author's use of foreshadowing is effective? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 3, "Hard Cheese on Tony: Part Seven," Brenda sends Tony a letter telling him about her affair with John and asking to end their marriage. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think Brenda would be so cruel as to write Tony just a couple days after the death of their son?

2. Do you think Brenda ever loved Tony? Why or why not? Give examples.

3. What would be your response if someone did something like what Brenda does in writing Tony so soon after the death of their son?

(see the answer keys)

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