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 is a sadhu?

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

3. What is the Begum?

4. Why does the Nawab tell Douglas he is visiting on the day that Douglas arrives home during one of the Nawab's regular visits to Olivia?

5. What paperwork does the narrator keep on her small desk in Part 1, Section 3?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the beggar the narrator notices and helps in Section 23.

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

4. What is the wish that the narrator makes with the red strings, and why?

5. Describe Maji.

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

7. Explain what happens to Olivia after her abortion.

8. Describe Chid's health in Section 30.

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

10. Describe the seasonal changes and its relationship to the story in Section 32.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The amount of freedom and choice varies greatly among the characters in Heat and Dust. Compare and contrast how each set of characters below is trapped by, wastes or uses their given freedom in the story.

1) Douglas and the Nawab.

2) Olivia and the Narrator.

3) Chid and Ritu.

Essay Topic 2

The relationships explored in Heat and Dust span generations, cultures and bloodlines. Of course, the connection between Olivia and the narrator is intriguing as they are not related by blood, and will never meet, yet Olivia's life is having a strong impact on the narrator's. Analyze the following aspects of this unique relationship.

1) Is Olivia a good person? Is the narrator?

2) Is it disloyal of the narrator to give so much attention and energy to the woman who betrayed her grandfather?

3) How would the story be different if the narrator was able to meet Olivia?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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