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. What does Mrs. Beaver encourage John to do?

2. Who is Rosa?

3. Why does Tony have to prove his infidelity?

4. What does Tony decide?

5. Who calls a family meeting of Brenda's family?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Messigner and Tony decide to do and do you think they make the best choice?

2. What is the symbolic significance of the first book that Tony reads?

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

4. How has Tony again entrusted his life to someone for whom that trust is not valid?

5. Why does Tony have to appear to be in the wrong?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A HANDFUL OF DUST takes its title from a T.S. Eliot poem titled "The Wasteland." Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Discuss the similar themes that are jointly present in "The Wasteland" and A Handful of Dust.

2. Compare and contrast the use of a poem versus a novel to express similar ideas.

3. Discuss why both Eliot and Waugh, who wrote in the same era, would be interested in the same social themes.

Essay Topic 2

In , Chapter 3, "Hard Cheese on Tony , Part 1," Tony encounters Jock at the Brat's Club. At first Jock feels a little awkward with Tony, since everyone knows about Brenda's affair with John Beaver. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think it is wrong of Jock to know something so important to Tony's life and not tell him? Why or why not?

2. Where are there other examples in the text when Brenda's affair is being discussed? Give examples and analyze the motives of the characters and morality of the situation.

3. Do you think Brenda not saying anything sooner is motivated out of compassion or greed? Give specific examples.

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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