Floating in My Mother's Palm Test | Final Test - Hard

Ursula Hegi
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Manfred's father know he will do?

2. How does Manfred's father try to manipulate his wife?

3. How did Hanna and her mother once get to a fancy restaurant?

4. Who is Veronika?

5. At what times does Hannelore seem to really come to life?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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