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 is Paloma escaping?

2. What bothers Renee a little about the dress Manuela borrows for her?

3. Who is Paul Nguyen?

4. How does Renee feel before Kakuro?

5. What does Renee find refreshing about rumors of Kakuro's apartment?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Renee think of Kakuro's bathroom and what surprises her about it?

3. Briefly describe Renee's dinner with Kakuro.

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

5. What fight does Paloma describe between her mother and another woman?

6. What does Paloma find interesting about the new tenant as concerns her mother?

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

8. What does Paloma want of Renee when she comes to Renee's door at eight?

9. Why is Manuela happy about the new tenant?

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

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in this book to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Analyze and discuss "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if it is a successful novel.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if it is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Would most adults consider "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" a successful novel? What about young teens?

(see the answer keys)

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