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. How does Dean (k)yK try to back out of the bet that there will be atoms?

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

3. How does Qfwfq feel about N'ba N'ga?

4. What example of a detailed bet that he makes does Qfwfq give?

5. What does the mollusk think of the development of eyesight?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is the attitude of the New Ones to the Dinosaurs, when Qfwfq first encounters the New Ones after his period of isolation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many of the stories in COSMICOMICS revolve around love. Discuss love in Calvino's stories.

1) Who are the women that the central characters fall in love with? What attracts the central characters to women in the stories?

2) What do women love in the stories? How do the women interact with the men who love them, and with the ones they love?

3) Why are there no happy endings to the love stories in Calvino's collection? What ways does love end? What does this say about Calvino's attitude toward love?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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