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

2. What is the profession of the man's father-in-law?

3. Jimmy loses the ability to _____, which his father claims is God's will.

4. In "Feeding the Hungry," a man gets angry with which group?

5. In "Grace Period," a man is outside doing which of the following activities:

Short Essay Questions

1. What common topic is discussed between the woman and the soldier in "Dish Night?"

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

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

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

5. Explain the actions of the bears in Chile in "Brilliant Silence." Why do the bears act this way?

6. How do Karen and Konrad meet in "Roseville?" What event does the meeting prompt?

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

8. In "Mandy Shupe," a mother tells her young daughter about Mandy Shupe, a Mennonite woman who goes a bit wild. The basic story is told and the mother's purpose for the parable as well as the grown up daughter's reaction explained.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Franky Gorky may be "The Nicest Kid in the Universe," but Franky is none too bright. Write two short stories about a character like Franky, or perhaps yourself, who receives three wishes. One story will reflect wise choices using the three wishes, and the second story will reflect making foolish choices. Would it be hard to decide what to do with the wishes?

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

A man desires to read his novel in "The Continuity of Parks." What about the novel has the man so intent on reading it? How does a person become so involved in a fantasy world that he becomes oblivious to everything around him? Is it a form of entertainment or escapism? Compare and contrast entertainment and escapism. Give examples of each as well as examples where both may apply.

(see the answer keys)

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