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 illness does Renate suffer as a child?

2. What does Hanna learn from Trudi?

3. What does the narrator's mother realize?

4. Who taught school in a nearby town according to Trudi?

5. Where does the narrator's mother go?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Who does Hanna befriend?

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

6. What does Hanna learn from Trudi about her father?

7. What does Siegfried do as a result of the dream and why does he do so?

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

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

10. Describe Klara's romance with an American soldier.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Floating in My Mother's Palm belongs to the general fiction genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the general fiction genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a general fiction novel and a mystery?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as Floating in My Mother's Palm help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading Floating in My Mother's Palm? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in Floating in My Mother's Palm to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

(see the answer keys)

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