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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 do the New Ones do when they find the dinosaur body?
2. What swarm of insects does the narrator describe flying through the air in the second part of the story, in the railway embankment scene?
3. How does the narrator know about females of his species?
4. What does one of the spectators at the fight between Zahn and Qfwfq call out?
5. What is the first bet Qfwfq makes before the beginning of the universe?
Short Essay Questions
1. What does the narrator think the first sign he sees is referring to?
2. How does the narrator see evolution as confining?
3. When does the narrator suppose that he might finally meet Ursula, and what does he fear about that potential meeting?
4. Why does the narrator not want to show his desire to meet Ursula at the beginning of the story "The Form of Space"?
5. Describe Lieutenant Fenimore.
6. How does Lll react when she first meets N'ba N'ga?
7. What causes the narrator's suspicions about the female he encounters?
8. What happens to the initial wealth that Qfwfq builds up?
9. How does the narrator describe being with Ursula H'x when their routes intersect?
10. Why does the narrator get an enormous sign of a hand with a pointing finger?
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
Many of the stories in COSMICOMICS deal with change and stasis, and the characters' reactions to changes in their world. Discuss change and stasis in COSMICOMICS.
1) Which of the stories in COSMICOMICS are set at moments of change in the development of the universe? How do the characters respond to change?
2) Are there patterns to how different types of characters respond to change in COSMICOMICS? How do women respond differently than men? How do older people respond differently to younger people?
3) What is the role of stasis in COSMICOMICS? In what way are the end of "Games without End" and the parallel falls in "The Form of Space" representations of stasis, in contrast to change represented in other stories?
Essay Topic 3
Throughout COSMICOMICS, Qfwfq and the unnamed narrator have rivalries with other characters. Discuss rivalry in COSMICOMICS.
1) The narrator has rivalries for love in "The Form of Space," "The Aquatic Uncle," and "The Distance of the Moon." How does love relate to rivalry? What causes the rivalries in these stories, and how are rivalries based on competing love unique?
2) The narrator has rivalries based on competition in "A Sign in Space," "Games without End," and "How Much Shall We Bet?" How does competition relate to rivalry? What causes the rivalries in these stories? How is competition resolved?
3) How are rivalries perpetuated in Calvino's stories?
This section contains 1,054 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)