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. Where does the spaceship land?

2. What does Conrad use as a name for hotel reservations at the Jefferson Davis?

3. What does Conrad claim to be in addition to a farmer?

4. What does Reba note Ellen must do before marrying Conrad?

5. What is Ellen majoring in?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Kreton's appearance.

2. What topics are discussed by Kreton and Rosemary?

3. Do you think Powers should be directing any military action, knowing he has never been in battle? Why or why not?

4. Kreton notes that war is the specialty of humans. Is this true?

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

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

7. 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.

8. Why does Kreton view his race as superior?

9. Explain why Kreton knows being found by Delton 4 would be difficult.

10. Summarize the argument of Roger against the existence of UFOs.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In the play, Kreton admits his race no longer has sex as a result of the immortal status. What does this mean for his race, in terms of personal relationships? Do you think relationships would be as rewarding without sex or passion? Why? Could this explain Kreton's lack of moral behaviors? Why or why not? What would a lack of personal relationships do, psychologically, to an individual? Why?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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