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 problem do Reba and Roger have with watching Roger's television appearance?

2. What does Roger report he needs to leave the house?

3. What adjective does Kreton use to describe hydrogen?

4. Why is Conrad forced to spend the night?

5. What does Roger say is the only organism on Mars?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do you think Powers should be directing any military action, knowing he has never been in battle? Why or why not?

2. Describe the spaceship, as it is explained by the aide.

3. Why is Reba concerned about the marriage of Ellen and Conrad.

4. The book makes reference to Ellen as playing Joan of Arc. What is meant by this?

5. Delton 4 promises to turn time backward, so that none of the events in the play occurred. What good things will thus be erased, as well?

6. Why does Kreton have a difficult time explaining how long it took him to reach Earth?

7. What does Kreton's statement about the food Ellen brings indicate about his position on eating meat?

8. Kreton notes the best scientific discoveries, including the atom bomb, radar, and lunch meat, were all discovered during war. Is this true?

9. Explain which powers the military plans to use, and why?

10. Ellen accuses Kreton of being a vampire of emotions. Do you agree?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Kreton explains that his race is superior to humans, in that they no longer have passion. Discuss your thoughts on his statement. Does Kreton seem superior to you? Why or why not? What benefits do emotions have for humans? Are there any downfalls? What would life be like without passion? Is this an improvement? Why or why not? Be sure to include information from the play in your answers.

Essay Topic 2

The government of the United States, and the people in the Spelding household, are shown to be extremely suspicious of anything out of the ordinary. Kreton, later in the novel, notes that humans are suspicious by nature. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? When something occurs out of the ordinary, or when we, as humans, meet new people, do we assume they are friendly, or unfriendly? Why is this? What was Vidal trying to say about human nature?

Essay Topic 3

Kreton and Ellen represent dueling forces in "Visit to a Small Planet" and have a major impact on the lives of the other characters in the play.

Part 1. Compare and contrast the characters of Kreton and Ellen by the end of the play. How are these characters the same? How are they different? What changes do the go through as the play moves forward?

Part 2. What would the result have been if Ellen's character had not evolved through the play? Be sure to use information from the novel to discuss your answer.

Part 3. What are the motivations for the actions of each of the characters? Are these motivations similar or different? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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