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 woman's name?

2. Toward the end of the story Jimmy becomes a/n:

3. What is the name of the girl's sister, who is a nun?

4. What common kitchen item does the man eat?

5. in "The Father," a family questions the appearance of a new _____.

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Discuss the attitude of the man in "Wedding Night."

4. In "Love Poems," a man is inspired to write a love poem to his mistress. It is the best poem the man has ever written. Discuss the man's work and what he does with it in the end.

5. Discuss the man's final decision in "Corporal."

6. What temporarily dissuades the couple from making love in "True Love?"

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

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

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

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

"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

It is said that people have muscle memory from activities they have done before, even if it is something that occurred long ago. This brings about the old saying, "It's just like riding a bike." Discuss the dancing bears in "Brilliant Silence." Do you think muscle memory applies to the bears' descendants? Is it possible? Is there some genetic marker that causes the young bears to dance? Is it simply learned behavior? If it is learned behavior, how and why are the young bears affected by the full moon?

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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