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 Conrad sign his name as Ulysses Grant?

2. What does Powers admit he thinks Kreton is?

3. What trait does Kreton say is endearing in Earthlings?

4. What problem do Reba and Roger have with watching Roger's television appearance?

5. What does Kreton admit he can do with time?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why is Reba concerned about the marriage of Ellen and Conrad.

5. Is Kreton well-organized? Why?

6. In the end of the play, who is (are) the only character(s) who end(s) up being selfless?

7. What are the reasons Ellen claims she cannot marry Conrad?

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

9. What does Powers see as the biggest problem in war?

10. Is Powers' treatment of the aide justified? Why or why not?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The role of women in "modern" society is another theme that runs throughout the novel. Reba and Ellen play two drastically different characters in the play, and Vidal seems to be representing two sides of the same coin with their behaviors. Compare and contrast the roles of Ellen and Reba to discover their representation of women in the novel. What are their reactions to things? Why do they react the way they do? What does this say about their representation of women? Do their behaviors change? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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