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 a courier deliver to Renee?

2. Who are Levin and Kitty?

3. About what does Paloma contradict a teacher of hers?

4. What color is the dress Manuela borrows for Renee?

5. Why does Renee wear a handkerchief to work?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Paloma prefer her aunt and uncle over her own parents?

2. What happens when Renee goes to the cleaners to retrieve the beige dress?

3. How does Renee obtain a dress for her date and what disturbs her about the dress?

4. What does Kakuro want when he comes to Renee's apartment, and what is her response?

5. What does Kakuro send Renee and what does she do?

6. What do Renee and Manuela discuss concerning Renee's upcoming dinner date?

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

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

9. What surprises Renee as she enters Kakuro's apartment and what does that make her consider?

10. Why is Manuela happy about the new tenant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Renee Michel is a highly intelligent woman who has had the misfortune of being born poor. Renee has it in her mind that poor people are not supposed to be intelligent, therefore she hides her intelligence from the people around her, going to great lengths to create an appearance that shows lack of intelligence and imagination as well as a general disinterest in the world around her. To the contrary, Renee is quite intelligent, taking great joy from reading literature and philosophy, as well as watching artistic movies and studying great art. Renee is a complex person who hides her intelligence behind a mask to keep the world from intruding on her carefully created world.

1. Discuss, in depth, the reasons Renee might think being poor excludes intelligence. Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

2. Pretending that Renee is your friend, write a letter to her explaining to her what you see are the problems with the way she hides herself. Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss possible reasons that often poor people are seen as less intelligent than others. Include in your discussions factors such as low birth weight, poor diet, lack of access to quality education and social and environmental reasons. Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Renee and Paloma. 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 Renee and Kakuro. 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 "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" 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 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in "The Elegance of the Hedgehog".

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of this book. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

(see the answer keys)

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