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

2. A man attempts to cross Spider Creek using what mode of transportation?

3. What is the man's profession?

4. A woman contemplates making a phone call to which of the following?

5. In "Night," a man wakes up and thinks he hears the sound of a _____.

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the attitude of the man in "Wedding Night."

2. What temporarily dissuades the couple from making love in "True Love?"

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

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

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. Give some examples of the man's experiences in "Subtotals."

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

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

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

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

"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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In "The Stones," the old stones have chosen to forget about or cease to talk about their adventures as young stones. Discuss in detail the behavior of the old stones versus the young stones. How have the old stones changed? What is the opinion of the young stones regarding their elders? Compare the attitudes of the old and young stones to grandparents, parents and children. What are the similarities? Does the story help to change your outlook on the opinions and advice of your elders? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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