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

2. The mother falls off of a:

3. The man also eats which part of his own body?

4. What reminds the bears of spotlights?

5. How many dancing bears are on a tour?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. 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?

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

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

8. What is the accident that injures Jimmy? What happens after the accident?

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

10. "A Public Denial" tells a somewhat humorous story about a man trying to clear his deceased grandfather's name. What killed the old man?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories by James Thomas" contains many stories by many different authors. The only criterion is that the story must meet a certain word count, typically around 750 but no more than 1,000. Examine any common threads that are found within the collection. Are there any similar trains of thought, style or format? Review each story with those things in mind and make a list of connecting ties.

Essay Topic 2

"Snapshot, Harvey Cedars: 1948" tells the tale of a woman's memories of her parents. The woman looks at a family photo fondly, remembering her dad's dreams of becoming a builder. The mother's body language is telling and unusual. Examine the mother's body language in the photo and the daughter's views. Do you think it is possible that the woman had some type of premonition or is the woman's body language a coincidence? If the woman had a premonition, do you think she was aware of it? Study the possibilities. Examine the daughter's thoughts regarding her father's suicide.

Essay Topic 3

"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.

(see the answer keys)

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