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 old is Qfwfq in At Daybreak?

2. What scientific theory is the story "Games without End" based on?

3. Who is the Deaf One in love with?

4. How does Mrs. Ph(i)nK_0 feel about the rest of the inhabitants of the point?

5. What does Qwfwq find when he finally reaches the point that contained his sign?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to the aunts and uncles when they leave?

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

3. Describe N'ba N'ga's objections to living on land.

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

5. What gives Qfwfq an advantage over Dean (k)yK when they bet during the early evolution of the universe?

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

7. What happens to the family and the planet after G'd(w)^n leaves?

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

9. What does N'ba N'ga like about the water where he lives?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout COSMICOMICS, Qfwfq feels judged by others, and characters enter into petty squabbles with each other. Discuss judgment throughout COSMICOMICS.

1) In "A Sign in Space," why does Qfwfq feel judged? What reasons does he have to feel that others are judging him? How does he judge himself?

2) In "All at One Point," how do the characters judge and criticize each other? Why is Mrs. Ph(i)NK_0 immune to this judgmental behavior?

3) How do Qfwfq and his uncle judge each other in "The Aquatic Uncle"? Where do their opinions of each other stem from?

4) In "The Light-Years," why does the narrator feel judged? How does he judge himself? How does his perception of being judged affect his actions and his relationship with others?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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