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. What is the name of the young girl that attends Catholic school in "Snow?"

2. Who is sad about the pumpkin truck accident?

3. What is the nickname given to Mr. Mumsford?

4. In "Grace Period," a man is outside doing which of the following activities:

5. In "Pendergrast's Daughter," what is the name of the girlfriend?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. In "The Colonel," what is the situation with the men at dinner?

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

4. "A Public Denial" tells a somewhat humorous story about a man trying to clear his deceased grandfather's name. What killed the old man?

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

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. "The Appalachian Trail" reflects the story of a wife determined to hike the 2,000 mile trail. Discuss the husband's reaction to the trip.

8. What temporarily dissuades the couple from making love in "True Love?"

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

10. Discuss the man's final decision in "Corporal."

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories by James Thomas" contains many stories by many different authors. The only criterion is that the story must meet a certain word count, typically around 750 but no more than 1,000. Examine any common threads that are found within the collection. Are there any similar trains of thought, style or format? Review each story with those things in mind and make a list of connecting ties.

Essay Topic 2

A 70-year-old woman copes with living alone in "Widow." Examine the woman's grief and remorse due to the loss of her husband. Also examine the woman's new-found sense of freedom and how she copes with the emptiness of her house and lack of rules.

Essay Topic 3

In "Girl," a girl's mother gives her daughter a very long list of things to do and not to do in order to behave like and become a "proper lady." Review each item on the list. Is it applicable to current day standards? Explain. Update the list to remove archaic ideas, update those that need to be changed to reflect modern culture, and add items that are appropriate today.

(see the answer keys)

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