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“A Visit To A Small Planet” Questions and Answers | Gore Vidal | Play No. 2 | 1st Year English Book 3

CLASS: 11TH CLASS (1ST YEAR, FSC PART 1, HSSC-1, ICS)
SUBJECT: ENGLISH BOOK III (PTBB)
PLAY NAME: “A VISIT TO A SMALL PLANET”
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: How does Kreton prove his extraordinary powers?

Ans: Kreton guards his spaceship. Aids wants to destroy the ship but he returns telling General powers,General. The door is shut and there is some kind of wall all around it, an invisible wall”. He raises a similar wall around himself. Nobody can touch him. He tells Powers that he understands what is inside the mind. He says, “I don’t really read it. I hear it.” Kreton is immortal. He laughs at the mortality of man saying to General Powers, “Poor fragile butterflies…”

Q: What is the purpose of Kreton’s visit?

Ans: The earth is Kreton’s hobby. He says, “you people are my hobby…you will be surprised to know what a thorough study I’ve made.” As a matter of fact, he wants to see the earth and its inhabitants in the early stage of their development. He says that the earth is at its initial stage of progress, “the  most fascinating stage as far as I’m concerned.”  His people didn’t want to visit the earth, but he did. His spaceship is empty. “Looking around delightedly,” Kreton says “Oh, it’s better than I had hoped.”

BE COOL
Q: How much advanced is the civilization of Kreton’s than that of the earth?

Ans.a. Kreton has come from a planet in a spaceship. Aids reports, “There is nothing inside the ship. No instruments, no food, nothing” Kreton says, “Well, these cars are rather common in my world.” However, the earth is at its initial stage of progress. The people are doubtful, boastful and vain. He says that none of his people want to visit the earth. He says, “we see everything through special monitors and re-creators.” General Powers calls him ‘jester’ ‘monster’ ‘imposter’ and ‘buster’. This reflects how civilized he isKreton is humble, sensible and friendly. Ellen admits, “I’ve never felt so sordid.”

Q: Can the people of the earth compete with the people of Kreton?

Ans.  Kreton’s planet is centuries ahead of the earth in civilization and development. For example, Aids reports, “There is nothing inside the ship.”  But it is used as a common car on kreton’s planet. The see everything through special monitors. General Powers abuses Kreton (by calling him ‘jester’, ‘monster’, ‘imposter’ and ‘buster’.) Authorities are ‘terribly torn by doubt.‘ Kreton shows ideal morals which contrast with the morals of his hosts. So, man on earth is uncivilized. That’s why Ellen says. “I’ve never felt so sordid”.

ENGLISH
Q: How damaging is violence in life.

Ans. Violence in life is a menace. Violence means unlawful intimidation, use of force and harassment. On individual level, Kreton is a victim of violence. He is doubted without proof. He is treated haughtily. General Powers abuses him (by calling him ‘jester’, ‘monster’ ‘imposter’ and ‘buster’. War is the worst form of violence. It digs graves for the dead and pits for the others. Violence begets violence. It leads to revolt and revenge. It makes civilization and economy collapse. Peace and pleasure evaporate. Wail and woe echo around wherever you go.

Q: What type of life do you foresee in the year 5000?

Ans: The way violence and warfare continue, I fear Third World War in the offing. The world, a pyramid-pile of gun powder, would blow up. If war is averted, the life in the year 5000 would be very mechanical. The values, cultures, customs and lifestyle would change amazingly. Awareness level would rise. Peace would become a universal religion and good manners the code of life. As far I can imagine the distant future, the earth would look like another planet and people aliens.

FURTHER
Q: How impressive were the morals of Kreton?

Ans: Kreton is highly civilized Though immortal and advanced. Kreton is down to earth. He is ready to cooperate in investigation, not out of fear but as a favour. General Powers calls him ‘jester’, ‘monster’ ‘imposter’ and ‘buster’ but he does not breathe a word. He sets satires on his attire, but Kreton likes his uniform. People sound like children to him for their imbecile thoughts. General Powers wants to kill an immortal man though he is unable to cross the invisible walls Kreton builds up effortlessly. Kreton does not miss to thank or to apologize when he must. His morals make Ellen say, “I’ve never felt so sordid.  His morality and immorality of hosts prove that our “Civilization is just beginning”.

Q: What is the role of General Powers in the play?

Ans: General Powers is a responsible army officer. He completes his investigations meticulously. He takes necessary measures in this connection. However, he is more interested in his promotion than the security of his country. He doubts Kreton to be a spy. He is unable to believe Kreton. He claims to know all about the saucer but factually he is unaware of it. He wants to arrest him. But he is vain of his authority. He is willing to kill a man who is immortal,. He calls him ‘jester’, ‘monster’ ‘imposter’ and ‘joker’.

EXAMS!
Q: What is the theme of Kreton’s study?

Ans: Kreton’s visit to the earth is both a pleasure trip and a study tour. He has been studying about earth as a hobby. Now he desires to see it. He loves to see the imbecile emotions and primitive traits of the earthly man. He says, “I’m here to intoxicate myself with your primitive minds…you have no idea how it excites me.” Actually his planet has climbed to the climax of technology and civilization. Technology has rendered their life ‘dull’ as he tells John. He finds fascination on earth and travels for it.

Q: How does Kreton impress General Powers?

Ans: Kreton has extraordinary things to impress General Powers. For example, he enters the earth in a spaceship. He builds invisible walls around himself and his ship without moving from his place. Kreton can hear minds and speak all languages of the world. He is immortal and has come to take over the charge of the world. All these things impress General Powers deeply. Kreton’s morals are highly impressive but General Powers perceive them.

CHILL
Q: Write a note on Mr.Spelding.

Ans: Roger Spelding is a middle-aged T.V. newscaster. He is living in Maryland state with his wife and his daughter Ellen. He is not adequately educated and makes mistakes in discussing meteors and quoting Shakespeare. He yearns for fame and praise. He wants to interview Kreton in order to fly into national fame. In addition, Ellen wants to marry John but Spelding wants her to marry some wealthy man. He believes that John is not so active. He underestimates John.

Q: Write a note on Mrs. Spelding.

Ans: Mrs. Spelding is a simple woman. She is not interested in national or political matters. She welcomes Kreton as a guest. The  entry of Kreton disturbs her only because his saucer has ruined her garden. She is fond of gardening. She takes care of her family and house a lot. She sets the room upstairs for Kreton. She is amicable and hospitable.

FEW KILOMETERS MORE
Q: Write a note on Ellen.

Ans: Ellen is the daughter of Mr. Spelding. She is a young girl of twenty. She questions about space. This shows her curiosity. She corrects her father in quoting Shakespeare. This indicates her knowledge. She does not bother about money. She is satisfied with her decision to marry John and knows that her father underestimates him. She loves him. She takes childlike interest in Kreton and his planet.

Q: Write a note on John.

Ans: John is a wise, bold and hard working man. He is the fiance of Ellen. He is good natured  and loving. He has a farm. He lives in it. He grows English walnut there. In the play, he is the first to break the news of the saucer. He is the first to meet Kreton and shake hand with him. He is not afraid of him while all the others are.

TAKE IT EASY
Q: Write a note on General Powers.

Ans. General Powers is a dutiful and honest army officer. He completes his investigations meticulously. He is keen to get promotion. He is commanding. He is proud and rude.  He claims to know all about the saucer but factually he is unaware of it. He fails to realize that he cannot harm Kreton. He calls him ‘jester’, ‘monster’ ‘imposter’ and ‘joker’. He is obedient to Chief. He brings his friend’s house under martial law. 

Q: Write a note on Kreton.

Ans: Kreton is an alien. In a flying saucer, he has come to the earth from some other planet. He is a mind reader and can speak all the languages spoken on earth. He can raise invisible walls. He has studied earth as a hobby. He says, “I’m here to intoxicate myself with your primitive minds…you have no idea how it excites me.” He enjoys the imbecile emotions of the earthly people. His morals are very high. Though immortal and powerful, he is down to earth.

ALMOST DONE
Q:How does the playwright expose the inferiority of the present race to that of the future.

Ans: Kreton represents the future age. He can read minds and speak all the languages spoken on the earth. He knows advance technology. His saucer is without instrument board. He says that General Powers will be unable to understand other solar systems even in the next 500 years. He calls earthly men “poor fragile butterflies.” On their ‘savage thoughts’ his head vibrates like a drum. In this way, the writer has mocked at the vanity of the modern man. After Kreton’s criticism, Ellen has to say, “I never felt so sordid.”

Q: Describe the scene of the arrival of the flying saucer.

Ans: The American army is alarmed at a shining object. According to the T.V. news, it is  no secret weapon of the country. Some say it is a meteor. Mrs. Spelding says, “something is falling” and John tells that “It’s landing.” Different people comment on it differently. This flying saucer lands in Spelding’s lawn. There is no instruments board in it. A man comes out of it. He is Kreton. He is dressed in the fashion of 1860. John shakes hands with him. Army deems the matter as a security threat and takes over the change of the house. The arrival of Kreton creates a big splash in the country.

MORE QUESTIONS
Q: Compare and contrast the people of the two planets.

Ans: Kreton is highly civilized Though immortal and advanced. Kreton is down to earth. He is ready to cooperate in investigation, not out of fear but as a favour. General Powers calls him ‘jester’, ‘monster’ ‘imposter’ and ‘buster’ but he does not breathe a word. He sets satires on his attire, but Kreton likes his uniform. People sound like children to him for their imbecile thoughts. General Powers wants to kill an immortal man though he is unable to cross the invisible walls Kreton builds up effortlessly. Kreton does not miss to thank or to apologize when he must. His morals make Ellen say, “I’ve never felt so sordid.  His morality and immorality of hosts prove that our “Civilization is just beginning”.

Q: Write your visit to a far off place in the north of Pakistan.

Ans: The north of Pakistan is popular for its mountains and valleys. Tourists from all over the world come to see this natural beauty. Last summer, I spent an unforgettable week in the lap of nature with my parents. We did not settle at one place. We saw the snow-white peaks and lush green valleys. We saw a different culture and hospitable but poor natives. I felt proud of my country to see how blessed it is. We captured the scenes by the camera. Thus my visit to the north is a lifelong experience for me.

FINALLY
Q: Discuss "The visit to a Small Planet" as a fantasy.

Ans: A fantasy is a literary composition that narrates an imaginary or unreal story. This play is a fantasy. It presents an unreal character called Kreton. He has come from some other, planet. He is an alien with superhuman qualities. For example, Kreton can speak all the languages spoken on the earth. He is a mind reader. He can raise invisible walls. He is immortal. Thus the play has many features that make it a fantasy.

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