House of Sand and Fog 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. When Connie Walsh tells Kathy that Behrani is willing to sell the house, what important factor does she omit?

2. What is the Enemy Voice?

3. Why is Nadereh screaming at Behrani after Lester leaves the house?

4. How does Behrani find out Lester's real name?

5. Why does Esmail become angry with his father?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do you think Lester's advice to Kathy when he helps her after the eviction is correct?

2. When Behrani visualizes their happy future in America, his imagination goes beyond reality. What does he visualize that will never be possible?

3. Why does Kathy feel that everything she says has another side to it?

4. Why is Behrani quitting both his jobs?

5. In the interview with Connie Walsh, what does she indicate that Behrani should do?

6. When Esmail asks his father if they were rich in Iran, Behrani replies, "Yes and no, son." What do you think he meant?

7. How is Kathy like Behrani in her outlook on life?

8. Why does Nadereh accuse Behrani of ruining their country and her life?

9. Why is Kathy upset about the utility bills she gets in the mail?

10. What do you make of the fact that Kathy counts and itemizes all the kinds of alcohol in her client's house?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the end of the story, three of the main characters each say that they got what they deserved. Do you agree with them? Are the final results similar to what you predicted? In this essay, compare your early predictions for the outcome of this conflict with the actual resolution. If your predictions were different, do you like your ideas better than the actual results? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The breaking of promises is a significant theme in this story. Behrani, Kathy, and Lester all make vows and break them. Choose one of the three characters. Analyze the promises they make and their motivation for breaking those promises. For example, the HALT advice for addicts is useful, but ignored by Kathy. How might the story have been different if she and/or Lester had followed the HALT prescription?

Essay Topic 3

Dubus has written a story with powerful themes. A theme is the author's main idea, or purpose in telling the tale. What do you believe Dubus is trying to teach us as his readers? Support your thesis with ideas or facts from the story.

(see the answer keys)

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