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. Of what type of metal is Kreton's ship made?

2. How is Kreton dressed?

3. What does Kreton seem to affectionately call the people in the house?

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

5. What does Ellen tell the family she and Conrad are doing in Richmond?

Short Essay Questions

1. Kreton notes the best scientific discoveries, including the atom bomb, radar, and lunch meat, were all discovered during war. Is this true?

2. How does raising the rifles in the world help to start a war?

3. What are the limitations placed on the Speldings as a result of Kreton's presence?

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

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

6. Is Kreton well-organized? Why?

7. Describe Kreton's appearance.

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

9. Why does Kreton view his race as superior?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Kreton argues that human beings are particularly adept at war, and that they specialize in it.

Part 1. Do you agree with Kreton? Why or why not? What makes us, as humans, good at war?

Part 2. Kreton also notes major scientific discoveries are found during war. Why is this true? What causes discoveries to be found during war? Does this argue for the use of war as a method of technological advancement? Why or why not? Would these discoveries have been made outside of war? Why?

Part 3. History is full of records of war. Why do humans engage in wars? What are some of the causes? Does this support or refute Kreton's position that humans specialize in war? Why?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The government of the United States, and the people in the Spelding household, are shown to be extremely suspicious of anything out of the ordinary. Kreton, later in the novel, notes that humans are suspicious by nature. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? When something occurs out of the ordinary, or when we, as humans, meet new people, do we assume they are friendly, or unfriendly? Why is this? What was Vidal trying to say about human nature?

(see the answer keys)

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