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 rule does Pfwfp invent for the game?

2. Which character accidentally floats up in the air?

3. In Qfwfq and Pfwfp's game, how many old hydrogen atoms is a new hydrogen atom worth?

4. Where is Mrs. Vhd Vhd at the end of the story?

5. How does Qfwfq feel at first, after realizing he is trapped on the moon?

Short Essay Questions

1. What object's beauty do Qfwfq and Ayl disagree about?

2. What does Ayl do when she comes from her hiding place with Qfwfq and sees the colors?

3. Describe Mrs. Ph(i)Nk_0.

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

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

6. What does Granny say has happened after the darkness comes again at the end of the story?

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

8. What does G'd(w)^n make once matter begins to condense?

9. What argument does Qfwfq give that the Z'zus could not be properly described as immigrants?

10. What traps Ayl at the end of the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Calvino's stories parallel each other to a greater or lesser degree. Discuss the parallels between stories in COSMICOMICS.

1) What parallels are there between "The Spiral," "The Light-Years," and "A Sign in Space"? How are these three stories' portrayals of signs and creation different and similar?

2) What parallels are there between "At Daybreak," "Without Colors," and "The Aquatic Uncle"? How are these three stories' portrayals of change and human reactions to change different and similar?

3) What parallels are there between "How Much Shall We Bet?" and "Games Without End"? How are these two stories' portrayals of rivalry different and similar?

4) What other parallels are there between the stories in COSMICOMICS? What role do parallels between the stories play in the development of Calvino's themes?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout COSMICOMICS, Qfwfq and the unnamed narrator have rivalries with other characters. Discuss rivalry in COSMICOMICS.

1) The narrator has rivalries for love in "The Form of Space," "The Aquatic Uncle," and "The Distance of the Moon." How does love relate to rivalry? What causes the rivalries in these stories, and how are rivalries based on competing love unique?

2) The narrator has rivalries based on competition in "A Sign in Space," "Games without End," and "How Much Shall We Bet?" How does competition relate to rivalry? What causes the rivalries in these stories? How is competition resolved?

3) How are rivalries perpetuated in Calvino's stories?

Essay Topic 3

COSMICOMICS deals with the divisions that exist between the self and others, and the relationship of one's inner self to the society of others outside one's self. Discuss the dichotomy between self and others in COSMICOMICS.

1) How are the characters in "All at One Point" separate from each other and yet unified? What role does the separation between self and others have in quibbling and pettiness? What role does the unification of separate individuals play in the expansion of the point at the end of the story?

2) In "Games without End," how is Pfwfp a reflection of Qfwfq? In what other stories are "others" a reflection of the narrator's self, and to what extent?

3) How are relatives, who share history and genetic makeup, a part of the characters in the story and in some ways an extension of the self?

(see the answer keys)

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