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. How often does the moon return to its position, close to the Earth?

2. What kind of sound does Qfwfq say the creation of a hydrogen atom makes?

3. What toy does Qfwfq compare hydrogen atoms to?

4. What rule does Pfwfp invent for the game?

5. What do the characters use to climb up to the moon?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Pfwfp start acting strangely, as the game between him and Qfwfq goes on?

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

3. How does the Deaf One act while the moon is further away from the Earth?

4. How does Qfwfq describe the new atoms that are formed?

5. What does Granny think is happening when light first appears?

6. When Qfwfq finally sees Ayl again, after the meteor flying overhead, how does he lure her away from her friends?

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

8. What does Qfwfq try to communicate with Ayl when they first meet?

9. How does Mrs. Vhd Vhd act during her time trapped on the moon?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Because the stories in COSMICOMICS discuss the natural world examined by science, they address mankind's relationship to the natural world. Discuss the relationship between man and the natural world in COSMICOMICS.

1) What is the relationship between the world of mankind and the natural world of the mollusk in "The Spiral"?

2) How is mankind related to the evolution of the universe? How does life on Earth contrast with the natural world before life developed?

3) How do natural forces like evolution and changes in the universe affect characters in the stories?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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