House of Sand and Fog Test | Final 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 crimes is Kathy charged with?

2. What does Lester's daughter think happens to the sun each evening?

3. How does Kathy help Nadereh when she first realizes she is in pain?

4. Of whom does Kathy remind Behrani?

5. What does Behrani believe he must do to save his son's life?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't Behrani attempt to negotiate with Lester when he breaks in and holds them at gunpoint?

2. Why does Lester feel like a fraud?

3. Which of the Behranis takes responsibility for saving Kathy when they find her after she took the pills?

4. Why does Lester decide that the Behranis have harmed Kathy when he returns to the house and looks in through the window?

5. Who does Lester want to call from jail and what does he plan to say?

6. How do Behrani's feelings change when he finds Kathy in the car in his driveway?

7. Why does Lester feel that his anger, which is leaving him in the Behrani house, is something precious that he needs?

8. As Kathy takes the pills to kill herself, how does her attitude toward the Behranis change?

9. Although Lester believes Behrani's story, he becomes angry again when Behrani describes Kathy as "drunk." Behrani is angry at Lester when he sees him studying his photo with the shah. How are these two moments similar?

10. Nadereh berates Behrani while he repairs her mother's table, but he lets her insults "pass over like training jets with no ammunition." Why doesn't he respond to her tirade, and what does she finally say that causes him to enter the argument?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Imagine that you are Lester's defense attorney. He has been charged with extortion, breaking and entering, false imprisonment, and kidnapping. How would you defend him against these charges?

Essay Topic 2

Kathy wears Nick's sunglasses and clothing stolen from her employer, drives a car her brother gave her, and uses Lester's gun. She allows other people to buy things for her and to take on her problems. What does this tell you about her attitude toward possessions? What do these things tell you about her attitudes toward other people? Do you think she sees them as nothing more than resources - Nick as a sperm donor, Lester as a protector, Frank as a rescuer? Does she care for anyone else? Why do you think this is important to the story?

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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