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 does the narrator say the sign "Tchk Tchk" refers to?

2. How often does the whole family visit N'ba N'ga to get his advice?

3. How does Dean (k)yK react when Qfwfq loses a bet?

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

5. What does Qfwfq predict will happen to stars?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Which bets does Qfwfq find most satisfying?

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

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

6. How does Zahn first react to Qfwfq?

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

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

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

10. How does the narrator describe being with Ursula H'x when their routes intersect?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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