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. One day the man is _____ while at work.

2. The items remind the woman of which of the following:

3. The woman goes into the basement to retrieve which item?

4. In thinking about pumpkins, the man thinks about his childhood illness and cans of which chilled fruit?

5. What reminds the bears of spotlights?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. "Here" describes a neighborhood in which everyone is friendly but does not socialize. Describe the neighborhood.

4. What realization does the widow come to in regards to her missing husband?

5. "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.

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

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

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

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

10. Who is "The Philosophical Cobbler?" What is his main concern and goal?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

"Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories by James Thomas" is a collection of stories designed to be so short that they cannot be claimed as short fiction or sudden fiction. Compare and contrast the three types of stories. Also compare them to a short story and novella.

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 "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.

(see the answer keys)

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