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. A man knocks on a woman's door, hoping to sell a lampshade. What part of the man's body is missing?

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

3. In the "Gold Coast" a couple stays on the _____ floor of a hotel.

4. The man also eats which part of his own body?

5. What is the profession of Jimmy's father?

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. What causes the car accident in "Pumpkins?"

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

4. Why does the girlfriend refuse to return her would-be husband's phone calls?

5. What common topic is discussed between the woman and the soldier in "Dish Night?"

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

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

8. Give some examples of the man's experiences in "Subtotals."

9. How do Karen and Konrad meet in "Roseville?" What event does the meeting prompt?

10. In "Nadine at 35: Synopsis," explain what Nadine does when her husband leaves her and why she allows him to come back.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

"Fingers" is a strange tale about a woman that must subdue her kitchen before every evening meal. Discuss the author's format and style as well as possible inspiration for the story. What about the kitchen and its utensils and appliances that cause the compulsion to destroy and/or hurt oneself? What other compulsions, if any, are present? What is the gory outcome of the story? How will it change the nightly kitchen ritual?

(see the answer keys)

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