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 Lll dare Qfwfq to do when they are playing near the water?

2. In the world millions of years later, where does the narrator see the image of the first female mollusk he interacts with?

3. Who gives Qfwfq and Dean (k)yK the libraries, magazines, and computers they need for their calculations?

4. What job does Zahn recommend Qfwfq for, which Qfwfq would rather not do?

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

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

3. Describe Lieutenant Fenimore.

4. Which bets does Qfwfq find most satisfying?

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

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

7. How does the narrator see evolution as confining?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

COSMICOMICS deals with the divisions that exist between the self and others, and the relationship of one's inner self to the society of others outside one's self. Discuss the dichotomy between self and others in COSMICOMICS.

1) How are the characters in "All at One Point" separate from each other and yet unified? What role does the separation between self and others have in quibbling and pettiness? What role does the unification of separate individuals play in the expansion of the point at the end of the story?

2) In "Games without End," how is Pfwfp a reflection of Qfwfq? In what other stories are "others" a reflection of the narrator's self, and to what extent?

3) How are relatives, who share history and genetic makeup, a part of the characters in the story and in some ways an extension of the self?

(see the answer keys)

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