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. Who knows about Mrs. Ph(i)nK_0's sexual affair?

2. What happens when Pfwfp tries to make his galaxy?

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

4. What does Qfwfq see that makes him postulate the existence of Kgwgk?

5. How does Qfwfq feel about his grandmother's cushion?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe what Qfwfq thinks as he nears the end of the first galactic revolution and believes he's about to see his sign again.

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

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

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

5. Describe Mrs. Ph(i)Nk_0.

6. 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?

7. Why does Qfwfq say that the sign is more important than its function of marking a place?

8. How is the sign like a name?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many of the stories in COSMICOMICS revolve around love. Discuss love in Calvino's stories.

1) Who are the women that the central characters fall in love with? What attracts the central characters to women in the stories?

2) What do women love in the stories? How do the women interact with the men who love them, and with the ones they love?

3) Why are there no happy endings to the love stories in Calvino's collection? What ways does love end? What does this say about Calvino's attitude toward love?

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

Each story in COSMICOMICS is based on a snippet of information about science. Discuss the role of science in Calvino's stories.

1) How does the author choose the science information to base the stories on? Why are some of the science ideas and theories ones that have been disproved?

2) What role does science play in the stories themselves? Why does Calvino make his stories fantastical, and what relationship does the fantastical have to science?

3) What is Calvino's attitude toward science in COSMICOMICS?

(see the answer keys)

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