Ask the Dust Test | Mid-Book 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. Arturo tells Camilla she will always be nothing but a:

2. Judy Palmer is a:

3. Instead of sexual favors, Arturo tells the prostitute:

4. To absolve himself of his guilt over the stolen milk, before drinking it, Arturo first:

5. When Arturo sees the elderly man the next morning outside the bar:

Short Essay Questions

1. What role does the resident mouse in Arturo's room play in the story?

2. Why does Camilla pull a frightening trick on Arturo at the beach?

3. Arturo tells Mrs. Hargraves that he never changes his mind. Discuss that statement and why it is ironic.

4. How is Arturo trying to appear to the waitress? What impression does he want to give her?

5. What does Arturo's interaction with Judy Palmer tell us about him?

6. Why would a starving writer like Arturo Bandini choose to live in Los Angeles where he is even more anonymous, lonely and desperate?

7. Discuss Arturo's interactions with people at the hotel, other than Judy Palmer.

8. In Chapter 2, Arturo's many fears are revealed. Why do you suppose Arturo is so frightened of women?

9. How does Arturo survive his deep depression and low self-worth?

10. In their final exchange of insults for this chapter, Camilla forces Arturo into kissing her. Discuss the significance of the kiss.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Arturo has some profound revelations as he searches in vain for Camilla in the vast desert.

1) Discuss what Arturo deduces about nature as it relates to humans.

2) What is the symbolism of searching in the desert for a person like Camilla?

3) How does Arturo make peace with losing Camilla for good? Is it a healthy way to say goodbye to her? Why, or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Arturo and Camilla create many dramatic moments between them.

1) What role and purpose does Camilla play in Arturo's life?

2) What does Arturo represent in Camilla's life?

3) Why do the two of them fight and insult one another?

Essay Topic 3

Mrs. Hargraves has a small, but important role in Fante's story.

1) What does Mrs. Hargraves symbolize for Arturo?

2) Why does Arturo finally agree with Mrs. Hargraves that the city of Boulder is in Nebraska?

3) Discuss Arturo's decision to force an extra $5 on Mrs. Hargraves when he pays the rent.

(see the answer keys)

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