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 second boyfriend?

2. Who is sad about the pumpkin truck accident?

3. The man decides to send the poem to his poet friend in which country?

4. What is the name of the woman's first boyfriend?

5. Later, the mother tells her daughter that Mandy is also a _____.

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. "The Father" discusses the birth of a new baby and the family resemblance. What opinions are voiced?

7. What is the main issue with Jimmy in the beginning of "Ponderosa?"

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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?

Essay Topic 2

"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.

Essay Topic 3

"The Last Parakeet" is a fanciful story about a Brazilian parakeet that has turned itself in and is prepared to tell its life story. Create a script for the parakeet's interview on national television. Ensure that the script is ten minutes in length. What types of questions might the interviewer ask the parakeet? What might the parakeet say regarding his unusual position? What questions would you ask the parakeet if you had the opportunity?

(see the answer keys)

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