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 "This time I like you." refers to?

2. How does Lieutenant Fenimore react when the narrator indicates he's seen a universe?

3. What do the New Ones do when they find the dinosaur body?

4. What does the first sign the narrator sees say?

5. How does the narrator see the shape of space?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Qfwfq do with the body of the dinosaur the New Ones find?

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

5. What explanation does the narrator give for caring about the opinion of whoever wrote the sign he first sees?

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

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

8. How does Zahn first react to Qfwfq?

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

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

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

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

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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