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. What does Arturo decide to do with the prostitute?

2. Arturo feels that the only people who really belong in California are:

3. The beer Camilla serves Arturo:

4. The Long Lost Hills is an essay derived from:

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the basis of Arturo's daring move to Los Angeles? What has given him the courage to relocate?

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

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

5. Arturo reveals in Chapter 2 the two things that drive him. What are they?

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

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

8. Discuss Camilla's new white shoes.

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

10. Why does Arturo portray himself as such a patriotic American?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

1) Discuss the symbolism of milk that Fante uses throughout the story. It represents many things and appears at different events in Arturo's life. Look at each of these events and determine what it is that Fante is trying to show us, using milk as a symbol.

2) What are the different characteristics of the milk in each instance?

3) What does milk represent to Arturo?

Essay Topic 2

Not much is said in the story about Arturo's Communist friend, Benny Cohen.

1) What is Benny's purpose in the story?

2) In 1939, how would Benny have been viewed by society, in general?

3) Is Benny a good influence on Arturo? Why, or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Arturo's fears are looming, complicated and numerous. Although he lists some of them earlier in the story, during the earthquake we are allowed to observed the true depth of his phobias.

1) How does the bed hanging from the open wall of Vera's demolished apartment affect Arturo?

2) How would you describe his state as he watches the people gathering and singing?

3) What are the more humorous responses Arturo has to the earthquake?

(see the answer keys)

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