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. What does Ellen say she would like to do that is important?

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

4. What type of trip does Kreton say the trip to Earth was?

5. How do Tom Powers and Roger know one another?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Kreton's appearance.

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

3. Explain why Roger is upset about Powers' revelations on the UFO, and what he tries to do about it.

4. Why is Powers upset he is in charge of the Kreton project?

5. Is the use of Kreton as a governmental weapon right?

6. Explain Powers' complaint at the beginning of the play in terms of what he has been given as responsibility, and who he blames for the change.

7. What is Kreton's response to the question of whether his people are there to establish trade? Communications?

8. Explain where Kreton lives.

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

10. Is Kreton well-organized? Why?

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

Kreton notes in the play that humans have an odd view of sex, in that they treat it as a taboo subject, while openly admitting their love for violence and death. Choose one of the following to write about.

1. Sex and violence are linked throughout the novel in several areas. Describe one of these situations. What was happening in the book? How are sex and violence linked? Why? What was the author trying to say?

2. Kreton notes that sex is a taboo subject. Is this true? Why? What makes human beings treat the topic of sex as they do? Is this logical? Why or why not?

3. Ellen notes that human beings think of sex often. Is this true? If so, why? If not, why would Ellen say this? Why is it okay to think about sex, but not to discuss it? What was the author trying to say about the attitudes of society toward sex?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 915 words
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