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. How does the narrator describe her relationship with her grandfather?

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

3. What happens when Ritu visits the narrator in her room after she tries unsuccessfully to throw Chid out of her room?

4. What is the relationship between Tessie and Beth?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Satipur like in Section 17?

2. Are Mrs. Saunders and Olivia similar, based on their first meeting in Section 8?

3. Describe Chid's health in Section 30.

4. How does the Nawab show his contempt for Saunders in Section 24?

5. How do Inder Lal and the narrator become closer at their visit to the Nawab's palace?

6. Explain how the narrator tells Chid and Inder Lal about her pregnancy in Section 28.

7. What do Douglas and the Nawab represent in Section 16?

8. Describe Maji.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

Heat and Dust is told from the narrator's first person journal entries and from Olivia's first person accounts in her letters to Marcia.

1) What is gained and lost from the author's use of this perspective for the story?

2) Who else could have told this story and what would the impact of their different viewpoint be?

3) If the narrator did not have Olivia's letters, but had heard of her story through oral accounts, how might the story change?

(see the answer keys)

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