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 later think she should have done differently in response to the gift?

2. What disturbs Paloma about the therapist?

3. What does Renee think about as far as at in chapter 11?

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

5. Who is Paul Nguyen?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Manuela tell Renee about Kakuro's apartment, and what is Renee's response?

2. What does Paloma feel and think when she hears her school choir singing?

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

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

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

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

9. Why is Manuela happy about the new tenant?

10. Briefly describe Renee's dinner with Kakuro.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are a number of interesting questions raised by "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". Questions that Barbery most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Barbery's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Barbery's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Barbery and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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