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 do Paloma and Kakuro decide to do?

2. What wakes Renee early the next morning?

3. What surprises Manuela when she and Renee are talking about Renee's upcoming dinner date?

4. Who are Levin and Kitty?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Kakuro send Renee and what does she do?

2. Briefly describe Renee's dinner with Kakuro.

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

4. Why is Manuela happy about the new tenant?

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

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

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

10. Why does Paloma displease a teacher at her school?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"The Elegance of the Hedgehog" belongs to the novel genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the novel genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a novel and a historical novel?

Essay Topic 2

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 3

Renee Michel is a highly intelligent woman who has had the misfortune of being born poor. Renee has it in her mind that poor people are not supposed to be intelligent, therefore she hides her intelligence from the people around her, going to great lengths to create an appearance that shows lack of intelligence and imagination as well as a general disinterest in the world around her. To the contrary, Renee is quite intelligent, taking great joy from reading literature and philosophy, as well as watching artistic movies and studying great art. Renee is a complex person who hides her intelligence behind a mask to keep the world from intruding on her carefully created world.

1. Discuss, in depth, the reasons Renee might think being poor excludes intelligence. Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

2. Pretending that Renee is your friend, write a letter to her explaining to her what you see are the problems with the way she hides herself. Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss possible reasons that often poor people are seen as less intelligent than others. Include in your discussions factors such as low birth weight, poor diet, lack of access to quality education and social and environmental reasons. Use examples from the book and your own life to support your reasoning.

(see the answer keys)

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