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. In "Night," a man wakes up and thinks he hears the sound of a _____.

2. Who is killed by the pumpkin truck?

3. The man ends up with a broken ____ and a bloody wound.

4. One day the man is _____ while at work.

5. After the man returns from the war, he plays one sport for two weeks. What is the sport?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. In "Vision Out of the Corner of One Eye" tells the story of two people on a train. What happens between the man and woman?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Bread" discusses the fact that while many of us eat bread, there are many people that are starving and could benefit from the bread we take for granted. Who decides who should eat and who should starve? Should people curb what they eat in order to provide food for people half way around the world? Is there an impact on those people decided by what we eat? How does supply and demand fit into the picture? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

In "The Restraints," a girl is taken to a tavern by her father. Discuss in detail the psychological implications of the father's actions. Does the father know what he is doing is wrong? How does it affect the girl as a small child? In what ways does the girl suffer? How do other people see the girl? Can the man's actions be construed as child abuse? Define child abuse and relate it to the story.

Essay Topic 3

"Corners" is a story about three sisters, Mildred, Marie, and Jessie. Marie dies. Examine the process each sister must go through to come to terms with Marie's death. Who is the eldest sister? How does each handle Marie's death? Explain how Jessie's behavior is colored by jealousy as much as grief. Also examine how Mildred tries to cheer Jessie. Discuss sibling rivalry.

(see the answer keys)

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