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

Hanna learns more about her parents as she grows older. This collection of stories tells the reader some of the things she learned about her parents as a young girl. Hanna learned that her father is a conservative man who often does not act impetuously. However, Hanna's father was engaged to another woman when he met and decided to marry her reckless mother. Hanna studies her parents' relationship and sees them as balancing one another out, her father keeping her mother safe and her mother injecting some happiness and excitement into her father's life.

1. How do you think a child's views of her/his parents change as they grow older? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Explain the cliche: Opposites attract; in relation to Hanna's parents. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. How do you think Hanna's life was affected by her parents' relationship and their individual differences? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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)

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