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 event did Kreton want to see?

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

3. Which uniform does Kreton say he prefers?

4. What does Powers fear would be the result of leaked information about the alien?

5. What does Kreton admit he can do with time?

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 does Kreton do to try and entice Conrad to join the fight?

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

4. What is each character thinking at the end of Act I?

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

6. Describe Kreton's appearance.

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

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

9. Why does Kreton view his race as superior?

10. Why is Ellen unable to lift the case with her mind the first time she tries?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What do you think Vidal was trying to say about the political situation of the world in the 1950s? Why? What are possible reasons for this? What was he trying to say about the U.S. government? About the Russian government? Be sure to be very specific in your answer, and include information from the book to back your argument.

Essay Topic 2

In the play, Kreton is treated by the government as property, and told he is to function as a weapon. However, Kreton admits he is a mammal, for all intensive purposes, and it is clear he is a living, thinking individual.

Part 1. Discuss how Kreton's ability to limit his emotions could help him function as a weapon of the United States. Conversely, without emotion, discuss how Kreton could function against his purpose as a weapon. Be sure to use elements of Kreton's personality as presented in the play in your answer.

Part 2. Do you think the use of a living, thinking mammal as a possession and a weapon is a moral thing to do? Why or why not? Be sure to include elements of the play in your answer.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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