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 causes Reba to be suspicious of Ellen and Conrad's activities?

2. Why does Roger believe he has different rights than others?

3. What does Powers admit he thinks Kreton is?

4. What power does Kreton have?

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

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. 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?

3. What are the reasons Ellen claims she cannot marry Conrad?

4. Is Kreton well-organized? Why?

5. What happened when Conrad and Ellen tried to check into a hotel?

6. What reasons does Kreton give for coming to Earth?

7. Based on Kreton's comments to Powers about the impending war, does Kreton really plan to win for the United States quickly?

8. Does Kreton seem to understand the intricate details of human relationships?

9. Why does Ellen claim in Act II she cannot marry Roger?

10. What are the limitations placed on the Speldings as a result of Kreton's presence?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

There is a scene in the play in which Kreton is served breakfast by Ellen, which consists, in part, of bacon. Answer the following in relation to that scene.

1. What is Kreton's reaction to the bacon? Why? What is Ellen's response? What does this say about Ellen's opinions of eating meat? What does this say about Kreton's opinions of eating meat? What was Vidal trying to say by having the "superior" creature refuse to eat meat? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the novel, Vidal suggests, through Kreton, that mankind is savage, violent, blood thirsty, and always ready for war. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? Based on the characters presented in the novel, do you believe Vidal portrayed his characters to agree or disagree with this notion? Why? Which characters represent an affinity for war, and which represent opposition to war? Why? Is Kreton correct in his assumptions, based on the character's actions, that humans are blood thirsty? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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