Visit to a Small Planet 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. What is on Reba's mind at the end of Act 1?

2. What type of trip does Kreton say the trip to Earth was?

3. What does Conrad ask Ellen to do after discussing his dreams about them on a farm?

4. What does Roger report General Powers advises the family do?

5. Why is Conrad forced to spend the night?

Short Essay Questions

1. Kreton makes a comment about why humans are odd when it comes to sex being taboo. Explain his opinion.

2. What is Kreton's response to the question of whether his people are there to establish trade? Communications?

3. Explain why Kreton's race no longer multiplies.

4. What does Powers tell Roger about the reality of the UFO, and why does he threaten to indict Roger under the Revised Espionage Act?

5. What does Powers see as the biggest problem in war?

6. Is the use of Kreton as a governmental weapon right?

7. Explain why Kreton knows being found by Delton 4 would be difficult.

8. Was Kreton an evil character? Why or why not?

9. In the end of the play, who is (are) the only character(s) who end(s) up being selfless?

10. Why does the aide think of when his thoughts are broadcast? What is the result?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the themes that runs through the play is the infatuation of the characters with sex. Ellen, Conrad, Reba, and the aide all think at various times in the novel of sex and sexual relations. Vidal seems to use the play to explore the attitudes of Americans in the time period toward sex.

Choose one of the following options and address/discuss the questions:

1. Give several examples of what the characters in the play think of sex. Is it portrayed as a method of procreation, or an enjoyable pastime? What are the symbolic links presented? Why are these important?

2. Ellen notes that sex is a taboo subject, although is it always on the mind. Kreton notes the oddity of sex as taboo while violence is widespread. What do you think of that argument? Is Kreton right? Why do we treat these subjects as we do? What makes sex so taboo?

3. The concept of sex has drastically changed since the writing of the play. Compare and contrast the concept of sex as it was in the 1950s to current notions. What are similarities? What are differences? What caused the shift in perspective?

Essay Topic 2

Nationalism is another theme that is present throughout the play. How is nationalism represented in the play? What is the result of this nationalism? How does this affect the storyline? What does this mean for the characters? Discuss nationalism not only from the aspect of the characters, but of Kreton too. He relies on nationalism to help him achieve his plan. What is in his way? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Set design is imperative in conveying a specific sense of time and place within any play. Choose one of the following to discuss.

1. Choose one particular room in the set design. Explain all elements of the set, including the props, and explain how those elements are used to describe both the time and the place of the play.

2. Go through each room in the set, and choose one piece in each room that, alone, could convey a sense of time and space. What is the element? How does it function as an indicator of time and space? What else could it represent?

(see the answer keys)

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