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 dried human body part does the Colonel pull out of a sack?

2. Which type of food has the man choked on?

3. The people relate the view to their _____.

4. What is the name of the male lead character in "Fingers?"

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

Short Essay Questions

1. "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.

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

3. In "Grace Period," what do you think is happening to the man witnessing the bright light?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In "Ponderosa," Jimmy is unhappy. Jimmy has been cheating on his wife although he denies it to his wife and father, who is a minister. The father tries to talk to Jimmy, but to no avail. Through an accident, Jimmy has half of his jaw shot off. The father sees it as divine intervention. Discuss Jimmy's predicament. Why does Jimmy continue to see his mistress if he is unhappy? What kind of upbringing did Jimmy have as the son of a minister? Does the father really believe that Jimmy's "accident" was divine intervention? Does Jimmy believe it? How does the accident affect Jimmy's life? Discuss the story from both sides. Also discuss what might have happened if Jimmy had not been shot.

(see the answer keys)

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