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 girl's sister, who is a nun?

2. The people relate the view to their _____.

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

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

5. How many times has the man been unfaithful to his wife?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does the therapist behave in an unprofessional manner?

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

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. What causes the car accident in "Pumpkins?"

6. 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?

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

8. "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.

9. Explain the scene between the woman and the salesman in the "Lampshade Vendor."

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In "Girl," a girl's mother gives her daughter a very long list of things to do and not to do in order to behave like and become a "proper lady." Review each item on the list. Is it applicable to current day standards? Explain. Update the list to remove archaic ideas, update those that need to be changed to reflect modern culture, and add items that are appropriate today.

Essay Topic 3

"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.

(see the answer keys)

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