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 happens when Tony and Messinger awaken?

2. What does Messinger decide to do?

3. Who arrives first at the meeting point for Tony and Milly?

4. What does Jock tell Tony?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What happens after Brenda has written Tony and telling him about John Beaver?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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"?

(see the answer keys)

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