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 threaten to spread rumors about the therapist?

2. What Japanese tradition does Kakuro explain?

3. In what way does Paloma's mother differ from most of the tenants in the building?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What surprises Renee as she enters Kakuro's apartment and what does that make her consider?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Discuss the following:

1. Who is/are the protagonists of the story and why?

2. Who is/are the antagonists of the story and why?

3. Which 3 secondary characters have the greatest impact on the plot?

4. Are any of the characters dispensable and which ones? Why or why not?

5. Do you think this is a character-driven plot or an action-driven plot? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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