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. After the family meeting, where does one of Brenda's brothers go?

2. What rumor is Brenda spreading about Tony?

3. What does Tony miss while he is drugged?

4. Where is Jenny going?

5. Who does Tony engage to start the divorce proceedings?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Brenda use the death of her son to justify her request for a divorce?

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

5. Why do you think Tony decides to go away for awhile?

6. How long is it before Tony and Messinger are able to talk to the men of the village about what they want?

7. What is Tony's position in Brenda's social circle by the end of this chapter?

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

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

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

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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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