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 Corporal had once dreamed of achieving which rank?

2. A man knocks on a woman's door, hoping to sell a lampshade. What part of the man's body is missing?

3. One of the cats ruins which item?

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

5. The items remind the woman of which of the following:

Short Essay Questions

1. What causes the stones to become fearful? What is a distinction of stones?

2. Discuss the opening scene in "Ponderosa."

3. 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.

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

5. What causes the car accident in "Pumpkins?"

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Grace Period," a man spots a bright light on the horizon. The man can feel the earth rumble as the light gets brighter. No one answers the phone. Discuss what you think is happening. Do you think the bright light is a UFO? Do you think the man is frightened or hallucinating? Compare the story to others that begin the same way and end up with alien abduction. Also watch and review television shows that portray alien abductions.

Essay Topic 2

"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 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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