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. Where does Messinger want to go?

2. How does Mrs. Rattery try to distract Tony while waiting for Jock and Brenda?

3. How is Tony doing in the wake of Brenda's request to end their marriage?

4. Who is Rosa?

5. With whom does Tony stay for a few weeks?

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

Often the people hurt the most in a situation like that of Tony and Brenda's is a child. John Andrew plays a pivotal role in the melodrama of Brenda's descent into selfishness. Discuss the following:

1. Compare the relationship between John Andrew and each of his parents.

2. How does the relationship between John Andrew and his parents (individually) change over the course of the story?

3. How does John Andrew tip the scales in Brenda's decision to reveal all to Tony? Do you think she is genuinely grieved about her son's death or glad for an opportunity for "total freedom"?

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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