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. How is Trudi treated in her childhood?

2. Why does the mother go there?

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

4. How does the midwife seem before she returns home with her daughter?

5. What does Trudi say about Hanna's father?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. From where does Hans-Jurgen escape and who decides to search for him?

3. What do the townspeople thing about Hanna's mother and how do they respond to her paintings?

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

5. How does Siegfried ultimately die?

6. Who does Hanna befriend?

7. What does Matthias tell Hanna about his life as a priest in training?

8. What does Hanna do when Rolf says his request?

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

10. How does Manfred's father end up dead?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Floating in My Mother's Palm. Questions that Hegi most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Hegi's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Hegi's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Hegi and see if/where her life may have influenced her writing.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in Floating in My Mother's Palm.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of Floating in My Mother's Palm. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of Floating in My Mother's Palm. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

Essay Topic 3

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Floating in My Mother's Palm and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Floating in My Mother's Palm is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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