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. What month of pregnancy is the narrator's mother entering?

2. Who is Klara Blocker?

3. Why does Oma ask to go to the hospital?

4. Where does this new friend of Hanna's live next to?

5. For what is Siegfried searching?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the problem with the narrator's mother in White Lilacs and what does she do?

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

4. Who is Siegfried Tegern and what does he dream?

5. What do many people believe is the cause of Trudi becoming an old maid?

6. What does Trudi call Hanna's father's actions concerning his marriage and what does Hanna think about that?

7. What is Hanna's mother told by the nuns when she goes to the convent, and what is the mother's response?

8. What is rumored about the child of the local midwife?

9. How is Trudi treated as a child?

10. Describe the narrator of these stories.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Floating in My Mother's Palm is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

Hanna's grandmother is saved from death by a faith healer who massages darkness and pain out of her body that has little to do with the blood clot that is threatening her life. In this case, however, believing in something spiritual, in something impossible, seems to have spared Oma's life. Connected to this story is the story of Renate, the young friend of Hanna's with a polio damaged leg. Hanna uses Oma's story of the faith healer to attempt to fix Renate's leg. While the treatment does not change Renate's leg, it repairs their friendship which adds to Hanna's belief in the practice.

1. Discuss, in depth, why you think Hanna's grandmother was healed of the blood clot. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Why do you think Hanna attempting to heal Renate's leg restored their friendship? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. Do you think a person who works to heal their emotional or past pains can have an effect on the body of that person? Why or why not? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Floating in My Mother's Palm. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Hegi chooses the symbols she does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Hegi chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Hegi's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, clifthangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Hegi use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,187 words
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