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. Where is a dinosaur body uncovered?

2. What unplanned benefit does the shell give the narrator?

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

4. To what does the narrator compare the paths of the characters' falls?

5. What sign does the narrator read that at first he's happy about, but later is disappointed by?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does the narrator not want to show his desire to meet Ursula at the beginning of the story "The Form of Space"?

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

5. Describe the problems with the advice N'ba N'ga gives his family.

6. What happens to the initial wealth that Qfwfq builds up?

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

8. Describe Lieutenant Fenimore.

9. Why does the narrator get an enormous sign of a hand with a pointing finger?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In several of the stories, a family forms the central group of characters. Discuss the portrayal and role of family in COSMICOMICS.

1) Discuss the family in "At Daybreak." What role does each family member play in the family as a whole? How does being a family affect the characters' interactions?

2) How are the communities in "The Distance of the Moon" and "All at One Point" similar to and different from families?

3) What role does family play in "The Aquatic Uncle"? How does the familial relationship between Qfwfq and his uncle affect the story?

4) What role does family play in "The Dinosaurs"? How does Fern-flower's relationship to her brother affect the story? What is the import of Qfwfq fathering a son?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout COSMICOMICS, characters generate ideas for the first time and do or conceive of things before the things themselves, or integral parts of those things, exist. Discuss these prototypes in COSMICOMICS.

1) How does Qfwfq think about the first sign? What is the significance of the sign being the "first"? How does this prototype differ from later signs?

2) How does the society in the point in "All at One Point" function as a prototype of later societies that will exist in the expanded universe?

3) How do the characters in "How Much Shall We Bet?" create a prototype of betting? How does betting change as the universe develops?

4) Why are there so many prototypes throughout COSMICOMICS? How are they related to each other and to the themes of the story collection?

(see the answer keys)

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