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 "The Corporal," a young man is determined to collect which item?

2. In "I Get Smart," a woman initially owns ____ cats.

3. When the man wakes his wife, she only says one word. What is the word?

4. One of the cats ruins which item?

5. "A Public Denial" is about a man wanting to clear up an ugly rumor about his ______.

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was the man so distraught in "The Paring Knife?"

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

3. What happens to the babies in "The Parents?"

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

5. Discuss the opening scene in "Ponderosa."

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

7. What causes the stones to become fearful? What is a distinction of stones?

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

9. Discuss the life of the young girl in "The Restraints."

10. 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?

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

A couple argues incessantly in "Blackberries." Why does the couple argue? Study the couple's dynamic to understand why they argue constantly. Are the issues they argue about important? Does the couple argue simply to argue? What can be done to change the couple's dynamic? Can the couple's relationship possibly be healthy? Also investigate how two people can argue without being hurtful, e.g., using "I" statements.

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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