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. What is John Beaver's career status?

2. Who is particularly taken with Jenny?

3. With what is the London social scene buzzing?

4. From whom does John receive a phone call?

5. What does Brenda say in a note to Tony?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. How does it seem that Brenda has absolutely no concern for Tony nor for her own reputation?

8. What does Brenda propose to Tony and why do you think he agrees?

9. Why is Beaver annoyed at Polly's party, but why does he put up with his annoyance?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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