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

2. What does Paloma wonder what might be the true movement of the world?

3. What disturbs Paloma about the therapist?

4. What wakes Renee early the next morning?

5. Who is Marguerite?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Renee think is wrong with Columbe's thesis and why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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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