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. Describe the pianos that the Nawab shows to Olivia.

2. Who gives Olivia's letters to Marcia?

3. What does the narrator say she learns about the house where Olivia and Douglas used to live in the February 16th journal entry?

4. Why does the narrator start sleeping in the outdoor courtyard with Inder Lal's family?

5. According to the narrator's first journal entry, where does she spend her first night in Bombay?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the phrase, "Things get mixed up in India."

2. Describe the relationship between Inder Lal's mother and Ritu.

3. Why don't Ritu's screams in Section 18 bother Chid?

4. Compare Chid's letters in Section 21 to Olivia's letters.

5. Why is the narrator motivated to travel to India?

6. Is Maji sympathetic to the narrator?

7. Describe Olivia's feelings about and prior to the dinner party that she and Douglas attend at the Nawab's palace in Section 6.

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

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

10. What does the narrator reveal about Douglas's life in Section 30?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In Heat and Dust, the narrator explores the life of a woman who lives in a different era, while living in a culture different from her own. Answer the following questions with these points in mind.

1) Is Ritu's treatment by her husband, mother-in-law and the narrator acceptable? Explain.

2) Why is Olivia's behavior so readily condemned by her English peers?

3) Explain why the old beggar woman who dies in Maji's arms is pivotal to the narrator's journey.

Essay Topic 2

Consider the role of faith in Heat and Dust. Select one of the questions to analyze.

1) How does the narrator's faith or lack of faith impact her experiences and expectations in this story?

2) How does the narrator's faith in herself or in others change the direction of the novel at an important point or points?

3) Which character in the story has the strongest faith? The weakest?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze the roles of tradition and symbolism in Heat and Dust. Be sure to explain how the examples you give helped or hindered the people involved, why they chose to participate in acts or events, and why the symbols or symbolic acts or traditions were meaningful to the plot and storyline.

(see the answer keys)

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