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. To what does Kreton compare his head vibrations?

2. What does Roger believe Kreton belongs to?

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

4. How does Kreton explain that he lives both on another planet and not on another planet?

5. What is on Reba's mind at the end of Act 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe what Conrad says occurred during the night with Roger.

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

3. Describe the scene when Kreton reveals his power. What can he do? How does he prove it?

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

5. Explain where Kreton lives.

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

7. What is Roger afraid Kreton truly represents? What is Kreton's reply to this?

8. What reasons does Kreton give for coming to Earth?

9. Describe the interview with Powers by Roger.

10. 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.

Essay Topics

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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