A Handful of Dust Test | Final 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 Tony engage to start the divorce proceedings?

2. Where are Tony and Milly going?

3. How does Tony feel during his travels upstream in a small boat.

4. Who is Rosa?

5. What annoys Tony the most when Milly arrives?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is rather ironic about how divorce is treated in this era?

2. How does Tony finally take some of his own personal power back and take charge of his destiny?

3. How is the inadequacies of the social circle in which Brenda revolves evident with the death of John Andrew?

4. How does Reggie present the situation about Brenda to Tony?

5. How has John Beaver fared through the saga of Tony and Brenda's failed marriage?

6. How does Brenda take the news of her son's death?

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

8. What seems to be contrasted in this chapter?

9. How is it that Tony seems to be the "bad" guy in a number of ways?

10. How does Tony manage to survive in the jungle?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare and contrast Tony Last with John Beaver.

2. Compare and contrast Brenda Last as she really is with whom Tony Last believes she is.

3. Discuss the roles of Jock Grant-Menzies, Mrs. Beaver, Marjorie, Dr. Messinger and Mr. Todd in the lives of the two major characters, Brenda and Tony Last. Is everyone of these secondary characters vital to the novel? Are any of them a foil to one of the major characters?

Essay Topic 3

Waugh offers an alternate ending in his serialization of A HANDFUL OF DUST in an American magazine. In that ending, Tony returns to England, is reunited with Brenda, moves into her flat and begins a series of affairs himself. Discuss the following:

1. Which ending to the novel do you think is closer to reality? Why?

2. Which ending is a more honorable one for Tony? Why?

3. Do you think Brenda would have welcomed Tony back and then stayed with it despite his affairs? Explain your reasoning using examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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