A Handful of Dust Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Handful of Dust.
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Explore the author's choices in naming the characters—what is the significance of character names in the plot?

Hetton and London are central to the novel. Compare and contrast the two settings. Why is Brazil added to the plot?

Decide if any of the characters have learned a lesson through all of the mishap that occurs in the plot.

What is Messigner's significance in Tony's life? Why has the author brought him into the story?

Tony's character seems to lose the most; is there satisfactory retribution for him at all in the novel? If so, explore at what points and how those around him respond to it.

Why is the reader introduced to the new Last family at the conclusion of the novel?

Does the author intend for the reader to find amusement or discord with the characters? Who specifically is the reader meant to like or dislike?

What is the distinction between the male and female characters? Are there roles that each group plays on a whole? Are these stereotypical roles?

This section contains 165 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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