The Elegance of the Hedgehog Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Muriel Barbery
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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. With what country is Paloma fascinated?

2. How is Paloma's mother is towards everything else besides the one important thing?

3. Why does Renee hide her intelligence from others?

4. What do Renee's clients believe in common?

5. What did Arthens' son once ask Renee?

Short Essay Questions

1. What has Renee decided about phenomenology and how does she use Kant to come to this conclusion?

2. What do the Renee's clients believe about concierges and how does Renee try to project their image of the average concierge?

3. What filmmaker has Renee recently been introduced to and which film does she like of his and why?

4. What does Paloma think of Maître Arthens?

5. How does the young man who mentions Marx react to Renee's suggestion, and what is Renee's response?

6. What is Renee's educational background and who fostered her desire to learn?

7. Why does Chabrot come to Renee's apartment?

8. Who stops to ask Renee something when she and Manuela are talking and what is Renee's feelings about it?

9. Describe Olympe.

10. What way did Paloma consider suicide and what why does she finally settle upon in her mind?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of being yourself in this book. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to hide themselves? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death in "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". Consider not just the physical deaths which take place but any changes that may be a type of death.

(see the answer keys)

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