Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories Test | Final 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. Where was the snapshot taken?

2. What is the name of "The Nicest Kid in the Universe?"

3. The boy uses two of his three wishes to change which of the following:

4. Which plant should get plenty of water so it does not make your throat itch?

5. What is the name of Jane's sister?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "The Cage," a man is trapped with no way to get free under his own power. Explain what happens that what it might mean.

2. What causes the woman to be upset in "Water?" What does the woman do?

3. What does Henry Dobbins use as a way of protecting himself while at war? What happens that might change the talisman?

4. What realization does the widow come to in regards to her missing husband?

5. Discuss the odd behavior in the town described in "A Chronicler's Sin."

6. In "Corners," what are the sisters doing at the beginning of the story? What upsets Jessie so much that she runs outside?

7. Who is "The Philosophical Cobbler?" What is his main concern and goal?

8. Why was the man so distraught in "The Paring Knife?"

9. What happens when Louise finds Teddy on the floor in "Teddy's Canary?"

10. "Here" describes a neighborhood in which everyone is friendly but does not socialize. Describe the neighborhood.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

A couple argues incessantly in "Blackberries." Why does the couple argue? Study the couple's dynamic to understand why they argue constantly. Are the issues they argue about important? Does the couple argue simply to argue? What can be done to change the couple's dynamic? Can the couple's relationship possibly be healthy? Also investigate how two people can argue without being hurtful, e.g., using "I" statements.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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