A Handful of Dust Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who is Tony's new partner?

2. Who is Mr. Todd?

3. How many trips has Tony made in his life?

4. Of whom does Tony not see much before she leaves?

5. What is Brenda trying to get?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

One of the major themes of A HANDFUL OF DUST is that of the differences among different classes in 1930's England. When the book opens, we meet Mrs. Beaver and her son John, who though they once lived in luxury, now get by through Mrs. Beaver's foray into the mundane middle class of making a living. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Discuss the idea of "class" as it exists in this novel. Be sure to include specific examples from the text and a definition of class.

2. Compare and contrast the life of upper-class England with that of either the middle class or lower class (i.e., the servants) as it exists in the novel. What is the upper class attitude towards earning a living? The middle class? The lower class? Which class seems the most practical? The most idealistic?

3. Discuss the following question: What is more of a barrier among people: class, education, religion or gender? Explain your reasoning fully using examples both from the text and your own life experiences.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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