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. What has Renee never had?

2. To what dog does Renee liken concierges?

3. At what age is Renee forced to leave school?

4. What is Paloma watching with her father?

5. What does Paloma feel about her true person?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Paloma notice about one of the rugby players?

2. How does Madame de Broglie injure her ankle?

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

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

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

6. What does Renee remember about Arthens' son?

7. Who is Manuela and what does she want to do?

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

9. Describe Renee Michel.

10. What does Renee say when the son of a tenant in the building says something to Renee about Marx?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

1. What is foreshadowing? How many incidences of foreshadowing are in "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"? How does foreshadowing contribute to a book's suspense?

2. Discuss an example of foreshadowing in "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" including why you believe it is foreshadowing. Include examples from the book and your own life to illustrate your answer.

3. How do you think most people react to uncertainty in their lives? Use examples from "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" and your own live to support your opinion.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". 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 Barbery chooses the symbols he 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 Barbery chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Barbery's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, etc.), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Barbery 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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