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. What does Olivia see in the room with the Nawab's pianos?

2. Where does Chid recover from his fever?

3. Why was Baba Firdau's shrine built?

4. Where is Ritu going on her pilgrimage?

5. What do Karim and his friends think about the narrator's plans to visit India?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Chid treat the people and things in his life?

2. Describe Chid's transformation in Section 28.

3. How does the narrator feel upon discovering that she is pregnant?

4. What does Inder Lal think of India?

5. Does the narrator trust Maji?

6. Why does Olivia write to Marcia in Section 16?

7. How do the men react when Olivia first reveals that she is pregnant?

8. Why does the narrator write to Chid's family in Section 31?

9. Why does the Begum visit Olivia during the abortion?

10. Why does the narrator decide to travel to the town of X in the final chapter?

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

Inder Lal, the narrator, Olivia and the Nawab all carry on affairs while married or with someone who is married.

1)Is any one of these deceptions more acceptable than the others? For instance, is it more okay for the narrator to have the affair than Inder Lal because she is unmarried?

2) How does the act of deception affect the character's future in the story?

3) What other acts of deception occur in the novel, and how do they impact the characters involved?

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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