Solaris Test | Mid-Book 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. Whose expedition was Berton on?

2. What does Kelvin keep in his wallet?

3. What does Snow call the visitors?

4. What book can't Kelvin find in Gibarian's room?

5. When Kelvin wakes, what is Rheya doing?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Kelvin take the Historia Solaris down from the bookshelf?

2. Describe the person Kelvin is shocked to see go into Gibarian's room.

3. Describe the view of Solaris that Kelvin first sees from his room.

4. What aspect of clothing does Rheya have in common with the apparition Kelvin saw enter Gibarian's room?

5. What reason does Kelvin give for his suggestion about the physical composition of the visitors?

6. What does Snow say that mankind is seeking in outer space?

7. Was Gibarian dead when Snow found him?

8. Describe the change in light between a red-sun day and a blue-sun day on Solaris.

9. What do the scientists see when the cover falls off Sartorius' video phone?

10. What is Gibarian's reaction to the eerie sound of footsteps echoing through the station?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Kelvin's character and what Kelvin learns from his experiences on Solaris.

1) Does Kelvin grow and change throughout the story? How does his relationship with Rheya change?

2) Does Kelvin gain a deeper understanding of himself, the ocean, or mankind? If so, what understanding does he gain, and how does he gain it?

3) Why does Kelvin decide to stay on Solaris at the end of the novel? What does he hope to find or achieve on Solaris?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the genre of the novel Solaris.

1) How does Solaris utilize the science fiction genre? Why does the author choose a space setting, and how does he utilize science and technology to communicate his themes and ideas?

2) In what ways is Solaris a mystery or psychological thriller? What elements of the mystery/thriller genre does the author use?

3) What elements of the horror/ghost story genre does Solaris use? Is the story of Solaris a horrifying one?

Essay Topic 3

Kelvin has complex emotions about the original Rheya, and these emotions are further complicated by the appearance of a new, duplicate Rheya. Kelvin first destroys one Rheya in a panic, and then wants to save the next. What does Kelvin really want? Discuss Kelvin's ambivalent feelings toward Rheya.

1) How do Kelvin's feelings of guilt and love for the first Rheya affect his attitude to the duplicate Rheyas?

2) Is it possible for Kelvin to distinguish his feelings for the Rheya of Solaris from his feelings for and memories of the original Rheya?

3) On a fundamental level, does Kelvin want Rheya to be there, or does he not want her to be there?

(see the answer keys)

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