Heat and 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. Who visits Olivia four days after she and Douglas attend their first dinner party at the palace?

2. What best describes the Nawab's palace during the narrator's first visit?

3. Where is Ritu going on her pilgrimage?

4. Why does the narrator tell Inder Lal that she is in India (other than for Olivia's letters)?

5. Who goes with Ritu on her pilgrimage to the Himalayas?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the importance of the piano in Section 20.

2. What kind of a person is Chid when the narrator first meets him in Section 7?

3. Why does Douglas accept the Nawab's presence in his home so readily in Section 12?

4. Describe Chid's appearance when the narrator finds him in the royal tomb.

5. Describe Maji.

6. Describe Chid's transformation in Section 28.

7. How does Harry's reluctance to bring Olivia to the palace forecast events to come?

8. Explain what happens to Olivia after her abortion.

9. Describe Harry's argument with Olivia in Section 22.

10. Describe Olivia and Douglas's relationship in Section 23.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The power to change one's self and transform one's circumstances is a theme in Heat and Dust.

1) Explain how the dual stories of Olivia and the narrator reflect this theme.

2) Discuss the impact of setting and nature on a personal transformation in the story.

3) What one character transformation that did NOT occur in the story could have changed the entire course of the novel? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Much of Heat and Dust is the study of contrasts between the Eastern and Western cultures. Explore that concept as you answer these questions:

1) What preconceived notions do the English in Olivia's time bring with them to India that shape their experiences in that culture? Use at least 3 specific character examples in your answer.

2) How do the Nawab and Chid adapt to cultures that are different from the ones they were raised in? What effects do their actions have on them and on those around them?

3) How do Harry and Maji represent the clash of, or integration of, different cultures in this story?

Essay Topic 3

Symbolism occurs in many forms in Heat and Dust. Select 3 symbolic items from the list below, or elsewhere in the story. Answer the questions that follow about those 3 items. Red strings, the piano, Olivia's letters, Chid's robe, the Nawab's palace, the Saunders' baby's grave, the grove, Baba Firdau's shrine, the royal tombs, Maji's hut.

1) Explain the significance this item has to the story and to specific characters.

2) Relate the symbolic item to the culture in which it exists.

3) Discuss what the story would lose without the inclusion of this symbolic item.

(see the answer keys)

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