Floating in My Mother's Palm Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ursula Hegi
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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. Who does Hanna befriend?

2. In what does Trudi engage regularly?

3. What does Klara tell her lover one day?

4. What one opportunity is destroyed by Trudi's father?

5. Upon what does Hanna's father insist?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Hanna notice about Matthias after he receives a regular visitor and what does she say to Matthias about her observation?

2. What is wrong with Renate's leg and why and how does Hanna try to fix it?

3. How does Hanna's father end up marrying a different woman than the one to whom he is first engaged?

4. Why does Oma go back to the hospital one day?

5. Describe Matthias Berger.

6. What does Matthias do about Hanna's suggestion about the man who visits him?

7. How does Hanna's mother get Hanna involved in swimming?

8. What do the townspeople say is the source of Trudi's dwarfism?

9. Describe the narrator of these stories.

10. What does the narrator's mother learn when she returns to the convent after starting labor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think Floating in My Mother's Palm is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Hanna and Renate. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of the architect and Manfred's father. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in Floating in My Mother's Palm help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

Essay Topic 3

Hanna learns more about her parents as she grows older. This collection of stories tells the reader some of the things she learned about her parents as a young girl. Hanna learned that her father is a conservative man who often does not act impetuously. However, Hanna's father was engaged to another woman when he met and decided to marry her reckless mother. Hanna studies her parents' relationship and sees them as balancing one another out, her father keeping her mother safe and her mother injecting some happiness and excitement into her father's life.

1. How do you think a child's views of her/his parents change as they grow older? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Explain the cliche: Opposites attract; in relation to Hanna's parents. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. How do you think Hanna's life was affected by her parents' relationship and their individual differences? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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