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. How many other members of Kreton's race have visited Earth?

2. Which uniform does Kreton say he prefers?

3. What does Reba note Ellen must do before marrying Conrad?

4. What Act will Roger be indicted under if he leaks the story of aliens to America?

5. What does Reba note to Tom that has changed in her appearance?

Short Essay Questions

1. Kreton tells Conrad that humans are "blood thirsty savages." Do you believe this is true?

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

3. Aside from the politics of war, what does Powers complain will suffer as a result of this war?

4. Kreton states he envies humans for being imperfect. Why do you think he says that?

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

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

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

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

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

10. Why is Ellen upset with Conrad about a goat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the play, Kreton notes several times that humans are addicted to violence. Do you agree? Why or why not? What elements in society tend to perpetuate that viewpoint? What elements refute it? Why? Do you feel that our society is one of violence? Has the world become more violent since the writing of the play? Why or why not? What does this indicate about Kreton's statement?

Essay Topic 2

In the play, Vidal references the standing political condition between Russia and the United States, often referred to as the Cold War. Choose one of the following to discuss.

1. Why do you think Vidal bases the novel on the Cold War fears of the United States military? What is he trying to say about the suspicious nature of both sides? What threats exist in such a suspicious environment, as is shown by the creation of hostilities by Kreton? What could such conditions result in?

2. Examine one specific comment in the play that refers to the feelings against Russians by the United States. Discuss the comment in terms of historical significance. What does such a comment tell you about the political situation in the time this play was written? What does the inclusion of such comments indicate in terms of Vidal's position on the Cold War? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Kreton manipulates individuals throughout the novel in an effort to force them to create the world he originally envisioned when he envisioned Earth. Choose of the following manipulative situations to discuss.

1. Describe the situation where Kreton uses the thoughts of the aide to push Conrad into fighting. What was the aide thinking? Why did this bother Conrad? Is the fact that Conrad tried to hit the aide proof that Kreton is correct that humans are naturally violent? Or was Conrad abnormally motivated to violence by Kreton's manipulation? Why? Be sure to support your ideas with the book.

2. Describe the situation where Kreton uses the fight between Conrad and the aide to convince Ellen to marry Conrad. What was the fight about? Why did this change Ellen's opinion of marrying Conrad? Is the fact that Ellen married Conrad only after his show of violence proof that humans are violent creatures? Or was Ellen abnormally motivated to marry by Kreton's manipulation? Why? Be sure to support your ideas with the book.

(see the answer keys)

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