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 theatre that gives out free dishes?

2. A man attempts to cross Spider Creek using what mode of transportation?

3. What are the people complaining about in "From the Floodlands?"

4. Nadine is told by her husband that he wants to leave. Where does the husband go?

5. What household fixture begins to cause problems?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. "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.

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

4. Explain the actions of the bears in Chile in "Brilliant Silence." Why do the bears act this way?

5. Why does the girl think the U.S. is being attacked by Russian missiles?

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

7. How does the woman intend to trick her boyfriend in "I Get Smart?"

8. Explain the issue in "From the Floodlands" and the realization of the people.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Ponderosa," Jimmy is unhappy. Jimmy has been cheating on his wife although he denies it to his wife and father, who is a minister. The father tries to talk to Jimmy, but to no avail. Through an accident, Jimmy has half of his jaw shot off. The father sees it as divine intervention. Discuss Jimmy's predicament. Why does Jimmy continue to see his mistress if he is unhappy? What kind of upbringing did Jimmy have as the son of a minister? Does the father really believe that Jimmy's "accident" was divine intervention? Does Jimmy believe it? How does the accident affect Jimmy's life? Discuss the story from both sides. Also discuss what might have happened if Jimmy had not been shot.

Essay Topic 2

In "The Stones," the old stones have chosen to forget about or cease to talk about their adventures as young stones. Discuss in detail the behavior of the old stones versus the young stones. How have the old stones changed? What is the opinion of the young stones regarding their elders? Compare the attitudes of the old and young stones to grandparents, parents and children. What are the similarities? Does the story help to change your outlook on the opinions and advice of your elders? Explain.

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?

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