The Elegance of the Hedgehog Test | Final Test - Hard

Muriel Barbery
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What does Renee do in response to the gift?

3. What does Renee tell Columbe?

4. What do Renee and Kakuro discuss before he shows her his kitchen?

5. Why is Columbe been driving Paloma crazy?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

One of the tenants of the building where Renee lives is dying. Renee is surprised by this man's unexpected illness and death, causing her to think about mortality and the meaning of life. Although Renee does not truly like any of her tenants, she admires Arthens because his clear affection for words. Renee also pities Arthens to a small degree because his only son is a drug addict. Paloma also finds herself thinking about mortality and the meaning of life. However, where Renee comes to the conclusion that art makes life worth living, Paloma finds multiple reasons why life is meaningless. Paloma points out numerous inequalities about life and uses them as reasons why she should continue with her plan to commit suicide.

1. Why do you think Arthens illness and dying has caused Renee to think about mortality and the meaning of life? Do you think most people feel this way when they find out someone they know is dying? Why or why not? Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

2. How do you think Arthens having a drug addict for a son is affected by that while he is sick? Do you think having a child who has severe problems might weaken a parent's immune system? Why or why not? Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

3. What are reasons Paloma might find many reasons to demonstrate life is meaningless, what are her reasons and explain why you do or do not agree with her reasoning. Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

"The Elegance of the Hedgehog" belongs to the novel genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the novel genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a novel and a historical novel?

(see the answer keys)

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