Cosmicomics Test | Final 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 sign does the narrator read that at first he's happy about, but later is disappointed by?

2. Where are the universes that the narrator sees as he falls?

3. What are the first things Qfwfq and Dean (k)yK have to bet with?

4. What variables does the narrator use to refer to the two moments in his life that he thinks others must be observing from far-away galaxies?

5. What type of fish is N'ba N'ga?

Short Essay Questions

1. What second enormous hand sign does the narrator make, and why?

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

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

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

5. In the end of the mollusk's story, in what way does he encounter the female mollusk?

6. How do the New Ones' perception of dinosaurs change over the time Qfwfq is with them?

7. What does the narrator think the first sign he sees is referring to?

8. How does Qfwfq describe Dean (k)yK, on a typical day in the present?

9. How does Zahn first react to Qfwfq?

10. What does Qfwfq do with the body of the dinosaur the New Ones find?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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