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 does N'ba N'ga say is a good hunting ground?

2. What does Ursula H'x do as she falls?

3. What does one of the spectators at the fight between Zahn and Qfwfq call out?

4. What does N'ba N'ga say his relatives get from living on land?

5. What does Qfwfq predict will happen to stars?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. In what way, according to the narrator's description, does the existence of a shell bring about eyes and the ability to see?

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

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

7. How does the narrator see evolution as confining?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Calvino's stories parallel each other to a greater or lesser degree. Discuss the parallels between stories in COSMICOMICS.

1) What parallels are there between "The Spiral," "The Light-Years," and "A Sign in Space"? How are these three stories' portrayals of signs and creation different and similar?

2) What parallels are there between "At Daybreak," "Without Colors," and "The Aquatic Uncle"? How are these three stories' portrayals of change and human reactions to change different and similar?

3) What parallels are there between "How Much Shall We Bet?" and "Games Without End"? How are these two stories' portrayals of rivalry different and similar?

4) What other parallels are there between the stories in COSMICOMICS? What role do parallels between the stories play in the development of Calvino's themes?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In COSMICOMICS, objects and things outside the self often reflect the self to the outside world. Discuss the role of objects and belongings in COSMICOMICS, and their relationship to identity and self.

1) What is the role of the characters' outer appearance in reflecting their inner selves? How do Ursula H'x and Lieutenant Fenimore's appearances reflect their personalities? How does the mollusk's shell become an embodiment of the mollusk's self?

2) How do objects the characters create and acquire reflect themselves? How does the sign in space become a representation of Qfwfq? How do the hydrogen atoms and the galaxies the boys form in "Games Without End" become representations of the boys, and part of their comparisons with each other?

(see the answer keys)

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