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. The wife does not understand her husband's need for which of the following?

2. One of the cats ruins which item?

3. In "Subtotals," a man is obsessed with which of the following?

4. What is the name of the second boyfriend?

5. One day at the theatre a girl hears about which famous battle?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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.

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

5. 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.

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

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

8. In "The Colonel," what is the situation with the men at dinner?

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

10. How does the woman intend to trick her boyfriend in "I Get Smart?"

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

A 70-year-old woman copes with living alone in "Widow." Examine the woman's grief and remorse due to the loss of her husband. Also examine the woman's new-found sense of freedom and how she copes with the emptiness of her house and lack of rules.

(see the answer keys)

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