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. In what year was Kreton expecting to land?

2. What three rooms make up the stage at the beginning of Act 1?

3. Who is in the living room at the opening of the play?

4. What adjective does Kreton use to describe hydrogen?

5. What does Roger report General Powers advises the family do?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why is Ellen upset with Conrad about a goat?

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

4. What does Kreton's statement about the food Ellen brings indicate about his position on eating meat?

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

6. Powers has an infatuation with laundry. Describe his conversation with Kreton about the topic.

7. What reasons does Kreton give for not explaining where his planet is, and what does he admit his species does not do, as part of the conversation?

8. Describe Kreton's appearance.

9. Delton 4 says Kreton sees the world as his plaything. Do you think this is accurate?

10. Explain which powers the military plans to use, and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the play, Kreton is treated by the government as property, and told he is to function as a weapon. However, Kreton admits he is a mammal, for all intensive purposes, and it is clear he is a living, thinking individual.

Part 1. Discuss how Kreton's ability to limit his emotions could help him function as a weapon of the United States. Conversely, without emotion, discuss how Kreton could function against his purpose as a weapon. Be sure to use elements of Kreton's personality as presented in the play in your answer.

Part 2. Do you think the use of a living, thinking mammal as a possession and a weapon is a moral thing to do? Why or why not? Be sure to include elements of the play in your answer.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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