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 Renee find not up to her standards?

2. What does Paloma's mother ask Renee?

3. What makes Paloma feel hope?

4. What Japanese tradition does Kakuro explain?

5. What fascinates Renee about Kakuro?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why is Manuela happy about the new tenant?

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

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

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

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

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

10. Briefly describe Renee's dinner with Kakuro.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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