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 does Trudi say about Hanna's father?

2. Who does Hanna befriend?

3. How long did Hanna's mother hear about her paintings from people?

4. Where does the narrator's mother go?

5. What does Hanna notice Matthias stops doing?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Trudi treated as a child?

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

3. Describe Matthias Berger.

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

5. What happens to Hanna's paternal grandmother and how does she cope?

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

7. Who is Klara Blocker?

8. Describe Hanna's father.

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

10. Who does Hanna befriend?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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).

Essay Topic 3

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Ursula Hegi.

2. What in Hegi's background may have helped her in writing Floating in My Mother's Palm? What may have influenced the way she depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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