The Elegance of the Hedgehog Test | Final 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 does Manuela say about Renee's looks when Renee dons her borrowed dress?

2. What does a courier deliver to Renee?

3. What is Renee careful about as she walks to Kakuro's apartment?

4. What surprises Manuela when she arrives at Renee's apartment?

5. What does Renee think people with good educations should do?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Manuela happy about the new tenant?

2. How does Renee give herself away as far as her intelligence to the new tenant?

3. What does Paloma feel and think when she hears her school choir singing?

4. Who wakes Renee at seven and what does Renee tell the person?

5. What does Renee think about art in Chapters 10 and 11?

6. What does Manuela tell Renee about Kakuro's apartment, and what is Renee's response?

7. What does Paul Nguyen tell Renee when he comes to her door and what is Renee's response?

8. With whom does Paloma have tea and how does she respond to the event?

9. Why does Paloma's mother take her to a therapist and what fascinates her about him?

10. What does Renee do when a package comes for Columbe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.)

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. Who is/are the protagonists of the story and why?

2. Who is/are the antagonists of the story and why?

3. Which 3 secondary characters have the greatest impact on the plot?

4. Are any of the characters dispensable and which ones? Why or why not?

5. Do you think this is a character-driven plot or an action-driven plot? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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