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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 trait does Kreton say is endearing in Earthlings?
2. What does Powers fear would be the result of leaked information about the alien?
3. What does Reba note Ellen must do before marrying Conrad?
4. Of what type of metal is Kreton's ship made?
5. What does Reba note to Tom that has changed in her appearance?
Short Essay Questions
1. Aside from the politics of war, what does Powers complain will suffer as a result of this war?
2. In the end of the play, who is (are) the only character(s) who end(s) up being selfless?
3. Kreton notes the best scientific discoveries, including the atom bomb, radar, and lunch meat, were all discovered during war. Is this true?
4. 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.
5. The book makes reference to Ellen as playing Joan of Arc. What is meant by this?
6. Delton 4 says Kreton sees the world as his plaything. Do you think this is accurate?
7. Is Powers' treatment of the aide justified? Why or why not?
8. What is Roger afraid Kreton truly represents? What is Kreton's reply to this?
9. Explain why Kreton's race no longer multiplies.
10. Kreton tells Conrad that humans are "blood thirsty savages." Do you believe this is true?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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?
Essay Topic 2
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 3
Set design is imperative in conveying a specific sense of time and place within any play. Choose one of the following to discuss.
1. Choose one particular room in the set design. Explain all elements of the set, including the props, and explain how those elements are used to describe both the time and the place of the play.
2. Go through each room in the set, and choose one piece in each room that, alone, could convey a sense of time and space. What is the element? How does it function as an indicator of time and space? What else could it represent?
This section contains 1,075 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)