Cosmicomics Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 Mrs. Ph(i)nK_0 want to make for everyone?

2. What problem does the change in density of the planet's matter cause for Qfwfq's mother?

3. In the game Qfwfq and Pfwfp play, what happens when two hydrogen atoms collide to create a deuterium or helium atom?

4. What is the name of the man G'd(w)^n eventually marries?

5. When matter starts to condense, who does the family have to pull out of the newly formed matter?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the food that the characters collect from the moon made?

2. Describe the visualization that all the people in the point have of Mrs. Ph(i)nK_0 that leads to the Big Bang.

3. What are Ayl and Qfwfq's attitudes toward difference and sameness?

4. What outstanding physical characteristics does Mr. Pber^t Pber^d have?

5. Why does Qfwfq say he could not make an accurate guess as to how many beings their were at the point before the Big Bang?

6. How does Qfwfq try to help Mrs. Vhd Vhd get back down to Earth, after the moon begins behaving strangely?

7. How does Pfwfp disguise new atoms as old ones?

8. What skills does the Deaf One have that make it easiest for him to climb up to the moon?

9. In the story, one of the characters accidentally floats up into the air. Describe how that character comes back down.

10. How is the sign like a name?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many of the stories in COSMICOMICS deal with change and stasis, and the characters' reactions to changes in their world. Discuss change and stasis in COSMICOMICS.

1) Which of the stories in COSMICOMICS are set at moments of change in the development of the universe? How do the characters respond to change?

2) Are there patterns to how different types of characters respond to change in COSMICOMICS? How do women respond differently than men? How do older people respond differently to younger people?

3) What is the role of stasis in COSMICOMICS? In what way are the end of "Games without End" and the parallel falls in "The Form of Space" representations of stasis, in contrast to change represented in other stories?

Essay Topic 2

In science, future events are predicable, based on physical laws. From this standpoint of predictable physical laws, it's possible to argue that with enough information, every aspect of the world is fated and predictable. Explain the role that fate and predictability plays in COSMICOMICS and Calvino's point of view on predetermination.

1) How are physical events of the universe predictable in Calvino's stories, such as "How Much Shall We Bet?" and "Games without End"? How are characters in tune with nature and able to predict what will happen, including Qfwfq and the Deaf One, in various stories?

2) How predictable is human nature in Calvino's stories? What elements make human choice less predictable than physical laws?

3) What is Calvino's point of view on predetermination? Are the characters' lives fated, much as the formation of stars is fated?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the portrayal of women in CosmicomicsCOSMICOMICS.

1) Compare Ayl, Lll, and Qfwfq's sister G'd(w)^n. How are these characters similar? Are their similarities related to their gender? Are their other female characters who share similarities? Are there female characters who contrast to these three women?

2) What attracts Qfwfq or the unnamed narrator to female love interests? What is the source of love? How does Qfwfq and the unnamed narrator perceive women?

3) Discuss Mrs. Ph(i)NK_0. How does she represent women? How is she treated differently from the other characters in "All at One Point"? How does she compare with representations of women in other stories?

(see the answer keys)

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