A Handful of Dust Setting & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Handful of Dust.
This section contains 540 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)


The Hetton Estate has been in the Last family for generations. The estate, which houses a village, apartments, greenhouses, a church and other facilities, was important to Tony's father and equally important to Tony. Hetton is two hours outside of London by train. Architectural critics have declared Hetton outdated, but Tony has no intention of changing its make up. The estate is available for tours and Tony loves showing the property as well as some of its art and antique collections.

Brenda's Flat

Brenda decided to rent a flat in London so she would have a place to stay whenever she partied and spent time with Beaver. Tony put aside renovations at Hetton in order to accommodate Brenda's new residence. The flat is one room with a bath and kitchen—too small for two people, according to Tony.

Polly's House

Polly makes her house the center for all social gathering. She has a big party that everyone thought to be important attends. She also brings other entertainment; once bringing in a psychic for her and all of her friends. Some of the other women have considerably smaller houses, so everyone prefers to spend time in Polly's house.

Brat's Club

An establishment formed by the younger upper class men who were uncomfortable trying to fit in with the old crowd at more strict discriminating clubs. These prime men attend the club to drink, sit in front of the fire, play cards, and enjoy the atmosphere.


The city of London is used as a direct contrast to life at Hetton and other locations mentioned in the novel. London is at the heart of popular occurrence among this group of people.


Tony has to take a stranger, Milly, to Brighton, a seaside hotel area, in order to fake a love tryst. She ends up bringing her daughter along, who Tony is stuck with more than anyone. He is unaccustomed to the brazen nature of the child and is willing to do anything she wants in order to keep her quiet.

Morgan le Fay Room

This is the title of the room that Tony has slept in all of his adult life. Morgan Le Fay is known in Gothic legend as a magician and half sister of King Arthur and said to have been unhappily married.

Guinevere Room

Brenda has taken this room as hers, sleeping separately from Tony. After Brenda begins her affair she is rarely at Hetton, so out of loneliness on some nights Tony breaks his habit and sleeps in the Guinevere room alone. On Brenda's last pleasant night at Hetton, they sleep in the room together.

Galahad Room

This is the room that Beaver stays in when he visits Hetton for the first and last time. When Richard Last and his family take over the estate, Teddy Last chooses this room as his own.

Beaver Family House

This is the first house introduced in the novel. Beaver and his mother live in this small house together. It is slightly overflowing with belongings from two larger houses that they once owned. The house is two floors and the two seem comfortable enough in it that they spend time with one another on mornings at home.

This section contains 540 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
A Handful of Dust from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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