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

2. According to Kreton, how many continents are on Earth?

3. What does Ellen tell Conrad to leave in the car when he arrives for dinner?

4. What does Powers explain UFO stands for?

5. What piece of equipment does Powers ask about in terms of the ship?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. 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?

5. Why does Kreton view his race as superior?

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

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

8. What happens when Powers threatens to take Kreton's ship apart?

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

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

Essay 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 book, there are several references made to time travel, and the effects of such an event. Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. If Kreton's war had taken place, would history have changed? Why? What was Kreton's intended result? Would that have affected the future of the planet? Why or why not?

2. Kreton notes that history books would have to be altered. In real life, are history books ever changed? Why or why not? What does this say about time? What does this say about our perception of time? Was Kreton right, therefore, when he said time was relative? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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