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. Why does Roger believe he has different rights than others?

2. To where does Tom lead Reba and Roger to show them the spacecraft?

3. What does Conrad note Ellen can do at the same time as making love?

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

5. What causes Reba to be suspicious of Ellen and Conrad's activities?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Throughout the novel, Reba has been concerned about things other than an alien presence. What issues have been of concern for her?

6. What does Powers tell Roger about the reality of the UFO, and why does he threaten to indict Roger under the Revised Espionage Act?

7. What plans do Ellen and Conrad have, and what are they planning to tell the others at dinner?

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

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

10. Aside from the politics of war, what does Powers complain will suffer as a result of this war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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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