Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

James Thomas (professor)
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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. Who is killed by the pumpkin truck?

2. In "Wedding Night," a man works at a _____.

3. The man tells the woman about his former business as the owner of which of the following?

4. Which of the following items is not something the man sees when he looks out the window into the rainy day?

5. What type of bears were in the circus?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the meaning behind the man's action in "Fingers."

2. In "The One Sitting There," a woman has difficulty cleaning out her refrigerator. What is the problem?

3. What is the accident that injures Jimmy? What happens after the accident?

4. Explain why Mr. Mumsford is so angry. What does the man intend to do? Why?

5. Why do the man and his young lover have such varying opinions on what they see in "Everything is Green?"

6. In "Mandy Shupe," a mother tells her young daughter about Mandy Shupe, a Mennonite woman who goes a bit wild. The basic story is told and the mother's purpose for the parable as well as the grown up daughter's reaction explained.

7. Explain the goal of the stones in the desert.

8. What causes the car accident in "Pumpkins?"

9. In "Grace Period," what do you think is happening to the man witnessing the bright light?

10. In "Love Poems," a man is inspired to write a love poem to his mistress. It is the best poem the man has ever written. Discuss the man's work and what he does with it in the end.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Grace Period," a man spots a bright light on the horizon. The man can feel the earth rumble as the light gets brighter. No one answers the phone. Discuss what you think is happening. Do you think the bright light is a UFO? Do you think the man is frightened or hallucinating? Compare the story to others that begin the same way and end up with alien abduction. Also watch and review television shows that portray alien abductions.

Essay Topic 2

"Ice Storm" is a telling story about boys that resist the urge to kill blinded pheasants during a particularly nasty winter storm. What happens to the animals during the storm? Why are the pheasants blinded? What about the boys makes them want to capture, harm or kill the birds? What causes the boys to rethink their motives and protect the birds from freezing to death? Examine a person's nature to protect versus kill.

Essay Topic 3

In "Feeding the Hungry," a man acts irrationally when he forgets to eat for one day. The man believes that he almost died from starvation. Obviously, that is not true. Study the body's metabolism and how it changes depending on the amount of food a person eats. Also examine the man's mental state to investigate any compulsions present.

(see the answer keys)

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