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 Pfwfp shout to Qfwfq as he pursues him in the new game?

2. How long is the sun's trip around the Milky Way?

3. Why is Qfwfq aware when new hydrogen atoms appear?

4. Besides color, what is missing from the Earth?

5. What happens to Granny's cushion?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. What happens to Mrs. Ph(i)nK_0 at the end of the story?

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

5. What happens when Qfwfq comes again to the place where his first sign was, and finds five signs there?

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

7. How does Qfwfq react after he sees that his sign is obliterated?

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

9. Describe Mrs. Ph(i)Nk_0.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Calvino's stories deal with communication between an individual and the world around him. Discuss communication in Calvino's stories.

1) In "The Light Years," how does the narrator communicate with others? What problems are there in communication?

2) In "The Form of Space," how does the narrator communicate with the other characters? What role does communication play in the story?

3) How well do the characters in COSMICOMICS communicate with the ones they love? How well, and in what way, do the characters communicate with their rivals?

4) In "A Sign in Space," how does Qfwfq communicate through his sign? What meaning and communication does Qfwfq receive from other signs? What is the role of communication in the story?

Essay Topic 2

The characters in COSMICOMICS have strange names which use symbols not normally found in names. Discuss the characters' names in COSMICOMICS.

1) Why are the names of Qfwfq's rivals Pfwfp and Kgwgk so similar to Qfwfq's name?

2) Why do the characters have unpronounceable names, with mathematical symbols and numbers in them? What affect do the strange names have on the reader? How do the names relate to the scientific subject matter of the stories? How do the names relate to the fantasy elements of the stories?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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