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 unplanned benefit does the shell give the narrator?

2. Why does Qfwfq bet that there will be atoms?

3. After the narrator speculates that Ursula H'x and Lieutenant Fenimore might have met at some time in the past, what does he deduce from this speculation?

4. How does the narrator first interact with a female?

5. What name do the New Ones give to Qfwfq?

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 Qfwfq do with the body of the dinosaur the New Ones find?

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

4. Describe Lieutenant Fenimore.

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

6. What causes the narrator's suspicions about the female he encounters?

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

8. How does Lll react when she first meets N'ba N'ga?

9. How does Zahn first react to Qfwfq?

10. When does the narrator suppose that he might finally meet Ursula, and what does he fear about that potential meeting?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout COSMICOMICS, perception affects and often creates reality. Discuss the relationship of perception and reality in COSMICOMICS.

1) How do others' opinions of Qfwfq (or the unnamed narrator) shape his opinion of himself and his actions in Calvino's stories?

2) In "All at One Point," how does shared perception create reality? Why is shared perception more powerful than individual perception?

3) How do the different characters' perceptions of change in "At Daybreak" and "Without Colors" affect their experience of reality?

Essay Topic 3

Calvino's stories often center around signs and symbols. Discuss the role of signs and symbols in COSMICOMICS.

1) Discuss signs in "A Sign in Space." What is Qfwfq's first sign meant to represent? How does its meaning and function change over the course of the story? What does the story say about the nature of signs?

2) Discuss signs in "The Light-Years." How do the signs in "The Light-Years" compare to those in "A Sign in Space"? What is the function of signs? What problems do signs present?

3) What signs and symbols appear in other stories? How do the characters use signs and symbols and interpret them?

(see the answer keys)

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