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

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

3. What does Nadereh ask Kathy as soon as the men have left them alone?

4. What worries Behrani most about Lester's behavior as he breaks into their house?

5. What does Alvarez explain to Behrani after Esmail has been shot?

Short Essay Questions

1. Behrani says that he sometimes believes he is being punished. What does he think he is being punished for, and how is this similar to Kathy's feelings?

2. 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?

3. As Kathy reviews events in her mind, she believes that she was willing to let Lester do anything to put off one moment. What is she so anxious to postpone?

4. Why does Lester feel like a fraud?

5. Lester watches his own image in the elevator doors spread out from the middle, then disappear. How is this symbol a metaphor for his situation?

6. Kathy doesn't shower because she doesn't want to clean up, then put on again the clothes she has stolen. How is this a metaphor for her situation now?

7. When Nadereh told Lester that her husband was "only good," Behrani believed that she had a different meaning than a positive comment on his character. What does Behrani believe Nadereh meant?

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

9. Lester becomes suspicious of Esmail. What causes this reaction?

10. How do his fellow officers feel about Lester after he has been arrested?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Does your personal opinion about these characters change as the story progresses? Do you take sides? Do you feel that one is right and the other wrong, that both are wrong, or that both are victims of someone else's error? Using the notes you made in your notebook during the early days of reading this book, discuss the changes in your own impressions of the characters. If your feelings changed, tell why. If they did not change, tell why.

Essay Topic 2

Lester's past has a strong effect on actions he believes he must take now. What happens in his younger days that skews his view of the world now? What is he trying to prove and why does he feel he must prove something? Support your idea with quotations from the book.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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